It got me thinking just a few days ahead of Durga Puja whether we really deserve to celebrate the feminine power. Being a woman with conviction, my friends would criticise me for questioning my own powers if I said that. But trust me, there is a reason why I say that.
Going by Shaktisim, the feminine divine power is infinite and without that the creation of the world is impossible. Many would point out the procreative nature of women in this philosophy, but the image of Ardhanarishwara (half man, half woman image of Shiva) proves much more. The divine power of male is incomplete without the feminine power. Thus, believe the Baul, Shakti and Shaivite traditions.
From Mahisa Mardini to Devi Durga, Meenakshi to Kamakhya, all are incarnations of the same divinity that we have worshipped and believed across the ages. The destroyer of evil, the procreator of the divine, the goddesses have always exemplified the respect Indians bestow on the power of women and their abilities to sustain the world.
However, on second thoughts and in view of the recent spate of gruesome crimes against them, I am bound to think otherwise. Worshipping the goddess in India is nothing more than a ritual anymore, a time for relaxation and celebration for the officer goers, who more often than not do not understand the meaning behind the celebrations. Otherwise, why would children of 4 or 6 be raped? On what grounds are senior citizens of 80 molested? Certainly, they did not bring this upon them, as the society would have otherwise blamed (just like in the case of Nirbhaya or for that matter the Park Street victim).
Inicdentally, in another case of child molestation, the director and a teacher of a school in Rajasthan's Sikar allegedly gangraped an 18-year-old student for two months on the pretext of taking extra classes. And when she became pregnant, they allegedly forced her to undergo abortion, after which her condition worsened. It was reported how the two used to make the student stay back in school after classes and assaulted her. When the girl complained of immense abdominal pain, her mother planned to take her to the doctor when her teachers intervened and convinced her to take her to a doctor who was their friend. The duo were reported to have bribed the doctor to perform a surgery without the parents knowledge that he was actually performing an abortion procedure. The two teachers are now absconding.
Not ethics, but mentality: Here lies the problem
We have lost our roots and our vision of the feminine power. We have lost what we once upheld at the cost of our lives- dignity of a woman. Now, women are nothing but pieces of meat that can be mauled according to one's whims and fancies. So, what if it's a 6 year old or a 60 year old? However, on the flip side, I believe that we ourselves are responsible for believing ourselves as pieces of meat.
We have tuned ourselves to the demand of the society of being the weaker section of the society (apart from the SC, STs and the OBCs). We have come to terms with the fact that we cannot get good jobs or a seat in the Parliament without reservation. We need special protection on the roads. We are okay with unequal paychecks at office, the discrimination in the society and the fact that we are less capable in delivering at workplace because we bear children and have families to look after. Strangely, we are still ok with it, after all the battles against the patriarchy.
But why? when women of this age are achieving nothing less than their potential, when they are proving their merit in all the spheres of life, why are we lagging behind? Why can't we teach our girls to take their safety in their own hands? Why can't we teach our girls to respect themselves, even when the world stands against them?
A popular American radio speaker and author- Earl Nightingale- had once said, "The picture you have of yourself, your self-esteem, will have a profound effect on the way you see the world and the way your world sees you."
It is high time we did ourselves a favour- start acting like the divine feminine and anihilate the Babas, the Gurus and the teachers who dare to exploit us. Otherwise we really do not have the right to celebrate the feminine divinity in Devi Durga or Mahisha Mardini.