Women Empowernment: Did 'Navratri' make any change?
India is well known for its culture, traditions and its different festive seasons which float throughout the year. Here festivals and traditions are tied with emotional strings and religious beliefs. Past 10 days were full of such festivities for all the Indians. The whole India was immersed in the prayings of Goddess Durga but did the nine days worshipping of mother divine mean nine days of no crime against women? Did these nine days bring respect, regard, and equality for women in society? On observing the past few days we can observe the double standards of Indian society.
The days when almost all the cities were enjoying the festivity of ‘Navaratri’ many incidences have been recorded where women are stuck with the struggles on different levels. Let it be the women devotees of Kerala struggling for their right to worship Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala Mandir, women opening up their dark stories under #METOO campaign or the nuns who stood hard against the Bishop Mullakal, stood blank handed and disappointed.
Many leaders like Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi or Vasundhara Raje were seen worshipping in the temple of Goddess and few of them even talked about women empowerment. Even though Sambit Patra was found bragging about Modi government's pro-women stance, appallingly, he remained silent when MoS MJ Akbar was accused of sexual harassment cases. Rahul Gandhi had also said that treat women with respect and dignity and next, he tweeted “Save women from BJP ministers”; which worked as an impressive political hit by Mr.Gandhi. Aren't these the double standards?
Women devotees struggling for Sabarimala mandir
On 28th September supreme court allowed entry for women of all ages at Sabarimala temple. Despite the supreme court verdict striking down the restriction on women, devotees are still not allowing them to reach the shrine hill. The angry and violent mob of devotees has threatened, turned back the female devotees as well as the reporters and have attacked 6 female reporters and 3 policemen. Even on Friday under the high police protection, 2 women tried to reach the shrine hill but have to turn back 500 meters from the temple. Paradoxically people pray the idol of women as a Goddess but also stops a woman to reach the temple by raising questions on her piousness.
Me too movement: Step towards women empowerment
MeeToo movement triggered by Tanushree Datta have given rise to the voice of women in India. Under this movement number of Indian women; especially women from media and entertainment industry are raising their voice against sexual abuse. More survivors came up every day, inspired and emboldened by each other. People like MJ Akbar, Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, and Chetan Bhagat are accused of the same. Few apologized, and few are hitting back on the accusations. Whatsoever may be the condition but it has been very difficult for a woman to come up with the stories of their molestion. Female segment of the society had always fought two wars at the same time; one with the world and another with themselves to gather the courage and speak up.
Eminent vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty said that people worship Goddess Durga but forget to show respect to women. We all pray Goddess Laxmi, Saraswati, Durga and Kali for prosperity, knowledge, strength, and power but doesn’t believe in educating women, strengthening them and giving them equal rights. Let us stop being the hypocrites and join our hands to provide respect to the women living in our homes and working at our workplaces.