Women, mothers and devis

REAL WORSHIP

Women, mothers and devis

Ever wondered why the Kali Devi is eternally angry despite being worshipped by so many men? Because the Devi in the temple is cringing at the attrocities slashed on her daughters on earth. She is seething at the fools that worship her and dismiss their own women...

Isn’t it ironical that exactly 22 days after the over hyped, over marketed, over celebrated Valentine’s Day complete with its glossy packaging, cute red bows and roses, it’s sweet and syrupy flavour, its cuddly toys and heart shaped chocolates, comes the International Women’s Day on 8th March. This day is minus the frills and thrills of its predecessor. Women’s Day is a day that comes with a lot less fanfare and it silently slips away into oblivion.

 International Women’s Day (IWD) was originally called International Working Women’s Day. Its focus was a celebration that encapsulated respect, appreciation, admiration, and love for half the population of the world which comprises of women. It was also to celebrate women’s economic, political, and social achievements. What was started as a socialist political event to bring awareness to the struggles of women throughout the world, slowly blended into the fabric of life and transmuted itself into a day wherein men expressed their respect for women achievers in all spheres of life. And by that, I mean only the famous ones are felicitated.

What about the scores of women going about their daily lives quietly, battling hardships, supplementing the family income, bringing up the children and looking after both sets of parents and managing their personal as well as professional duties?

If all that is taken into consideration, then every woman is an achiever in her own right. From the domestic helper who survives violence from a drunkard husband and arrives for work with a swollen face, to the school and college going girl who wades through leers, wolf-whistles, lewd comments andtouches and manages to reach school and college safely and goes on to excel in all her exams, to the working woman who puts up with a litany of sexist comments and treatment and moves through promotion after promotion. Aren’t all of these women achievers in their own right?

There are scores of men who have spent Valentine’s Day serenading their significant others and sweethearts with flowers, chocolates, cards, gifts and messages. Do these men even have the courtesy of wishing them on Women’s Day?

It is a day to celebrate their feminity, to acknowledge their affinity with Mother Nature who is more of a caretaker than receiver of our gratitude. Everyone knows that a woman is the physical embodiment of Mother Nature in all her roles; she has the ability to nurture and nourish a body in her womb and give birth.

Men over the ages have watched women turning into bread earners from their previous roles of bread makers. Most of the time women combine the two roles beautifully, straddling the work as well as the home front. Day after day, women are shattering stereotypes, nudging conventions aside and taking on the roles earlier played by men without giving up their womanly roles and duties. And doing it quite well too, we may add.

What seems odd is that these same men spend the nine days of Navratri worshipping the red saree clad Devi and her infinite attributes, they wait in long queues to get a glimpse of the Divine Goddess, foregoing food and water, but the Goddess at home (mother, wife, sister and daughter) remain unworshipped, even unacknowledged, perhaps even beaten if she dares to step out of the men-drawn lines.  In the name of family honour, atrocities are heaped on her.

The real woman does not ask to be worshipped like a devi. But courtesy, respect, and freedom are her due rights. Mother Earth, Mother Nature and Motherland, Biological Mother.... Isn’t it obvious that the world wouldn’t exist if there were no feminine element? Why is it then that only the Devi Maa is being celebrated? Why is it then that her daughters are treated with brutality, violence, rapes, harrassment, and injustice?

Is Women’s Day then, just a symbolic gesture to make a woman feel happy, or is it celebrated in its true spirit? Is it just a placebo to calm and soothe her frazzled nerves? Is it believed that we can mouth a few platitudes which will silence her until the next Women’s Day rolls along 364 days later? Is it a day to just buy her silent acceptance for the atrocities that will be piled on her over the remaining days of the year? 

The true celebration would be, if the spirit of the day (if at all there is any spirit) remains intact for the remaining 364 days. For starters, a complete over haul of the male mental engine is long pending. Their outlook towards women and their achievements which are often overlooked or subjected to disparaging comments and need a drastic makeover. One day is too less to worship someone who is not only instrumental for a man’s presence on Earth, but who is also ensuring that his gene pool multiplies, don’t you think?

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