• Womanhood – Celebration or a Curse !

    Shalini Newar

    August 23, 2018

    #ALLWOMENBLEED a hashtag coined by prabha raj @deepsealioness on twitter sets the mood for these words that flow through …

    The capacity and strength of a woman to be herself standing tall in her femininity has been made wrong since time immemorial! Against all odds whether it be mythology or fact it has been a woman who takes blame and the fall for a man’s ego and pride!

    What regressive times we are living in! Manushyaputhiran a poet a concerned keralite Villified for writting these beautiful lines , questioning the question mark placed on a natural biological phenommena BUT a taboo MENSTRUATION , condemned by the powerful illiterate literate that govern this country!

    In his poem titled 'Devi ‘ Uzhiyin Nadanam, Manushyaputhiran writes, “Devi, is your menstrual blood capable of creating frightful times? Can it destroy cities and towns? Can it drown God and temples in water? Devi, they say your menstrual blood is impure; it is untouchable. Your menstrual blood can wipe away the impurities of this land. We don’t want such purity. Devi, Please rest a while. This is time for mercy.”

    A pertinent question-could a MAN be born of a woman who did not bleed …..? The creation ‘MAN' in absolute denial and resistance of his creator and nurturer a ‘WOMAN'!

    Where are we headed in this 21st century? The present floods in kerala linked and blamed on women being allowed entry to the sabrimala temple!

    The supreme court does put forward a very valid argument in favour of women "is menstruation a tool to measure the purity of women? How will you measure the purity of Men?”

    I wonder what Mr H raja the respected bjp national secretary’s answer to this would be?

    The compassion and the sensitivity with which manushyapurithan has written about the dilemma of being a woman is commendable.

    What HAS irked the esteemed politician?

    A woman being revered as a devi? Are we not taught in school that another name for india is ‘BHARAT MATA'. I a hindu was made to learn this by a muslim history teacher in a catholic christian school, how does it get any better than this!

    The stigma of impurity is not just limited to hindus but a matter of concern for women all over the globe. Practically ostracized for those five days in these modern times still treated as untouchables! A lot of muslim women go to lengths to hide this fact during the prayer month of ramazan! It is a time of confinement among the beta jewish of ethopia and a few african tribes!

    Floods in kashmir blamed on women – charges against them being – not adhering to the kashmiri pehnawa ,wearing jeans and riding scootties, highly ridiculous! Instead of looking into the actual reason ie the indiscriminate destruction of the natural balance created by human encroachment it is easier to shift the blame and who else – but the hapless woman!

    Superstition and fear of impending diaster is paradoxically a strange strength in a country that worships and celebrates the divine feminine in the form of kamakhya devi the goddess that bleeds! A powerful shaktipeeth ,a regular for politicians and men alike in their times of need! The cloth placed on the shrine during the four days that she bleeds every year, is worn in amulets by these very men around their necks as blessings and grace and to ward of evil! Really what an interesting fact this is!

    Instead what will it take for mensturation to be seen as a sign of good health and fertility for a woman!

    Well Whatever said and unsaid; I AM proud to be a woman and i choose to be reborn and reborn as a woman i truly be!

    These lines by pooja kumari say it all ..
    kyu sahe tu har dukh,
    kyu jaye teri awaz dabayi,
    ab uth khadi ho ladh apne liye,
    tu hai ek azad jharne ka pani,
    tujhe haq hai azadi ka,
    tu nahi ek abla nari,
    aurat badlegi apni kahani,
    yahi hai ab har aurat ki jubani!
    Aurat teri yahi kahani …..


    Shalini Gupta Newar is a social activist

    First published in Countercurrents.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Indian Writers' Forum.

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.