This Durga Puja, be fearless and unapologetically courageous. #Metoo

by parineeti lal

Tanushree Dutta went public last week about how Nana Patekar  & Co. had harassed her in 2008. The women of the nation went up in arms in her support. Many within them had their own stories of harassment to share.

Suddenly the long-suffering meek female of India, had found her voice. In what seems like a major cascade effect, the clamour of female voices that rose into a shriek of outbursts over what it was to have put up with such obnoxious behavior for so long without anybody to turn to for justice, seemed to say in one voice – it was high time justice was served by the wronged women themselves. And the voices are being added to each passing day with fresh names of oppressors being added to the lengthy existing list.

When one considers the timing and the significance of the occasion when this matter has surfaced and reached considerable proportions, one wonders whether it also has a divine intervention in the scheme of things. It is Navaratri time or the nine days of celebrating the grandeur and glory of Goddess Durga, the feminine force divine.

The Navaratri Festival

Celebrated annually in Ashvin, the Hindu month, that falls in September or October, the Sharada Navratri observed in the honor of the feminine divine or Goddess Durga ( also called Maa Shakthi) is the most important of the four Navaratris during the year.

As a mother of the universe Goddess Durga or Maa Shakthi, is also known as Adi Shakthi or Adi Parashakthi. On the earthy plane she is manifest in the female embodiment and represents ‘creativity’ or ‘change’. She is also referred to as the Kundalini Shakthi or the force that creates and liberates.

The festival is associated with the fight between good and evil with Good triumphing over Evil. The nine days of Navaratri are thus dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars or divine forms that she assumes with each day of the Nine Days associated with an incarnation.

The Power of Shakthi

Each of the days of Navaratri signifies a different manifestation of the Goddess Durga or Maa Shakthi.

Day 1 – Shailaputri.- Associated with the color red, that represents action and vigor, she is depicted as riding the bull Nandi with a trident in one hand and a lotus in the other.

Day 2 – Bhramcharini – Associated with yellow, this form symbolizes bliss and calm. Brahmcharini is worshiped for moksha and endowment of peace and prosperity.

Day 3 – Chandraghanta – Associated with grey, Chandraghanta is the symbol of beauty but is also associated with the quality of bravery.

Day 4 – Kushmanda – She is associated with the color green and represents vegetation on earth.

Day 5 – Skandmata – Associated with the color white, she represents that form of a Mother who is generally calm, but when her child is in danger, becomes a transformed force to reckon with.

Day 6 – Katyayani – Being associated with the color orange, she is the warrior form or the ferocious side of Goddess Durga.

Day 7 – Kalratri – Believed to have removed her color white to vanquish two demons her color becomes black.

Day 8 – Mahagauri – symbolizes intelligence and peace and associated with the color pink that spells optimism.

Day 9 – Sidhidatri – the Goddess of Knowledge who grants all sorts of siddhis to her devotees she is associated with white, the color of purity.

In essence Maa Shakthi epitomizes the calm and tranquil nature of the female form that can muster inner strength to take care of any calamity or adversity when faced by them.

 Drawing parallels with the Me Too Movement of 2018

  • Maa Shakti is a force that in its normal state presents a tranquil and soothing appearance. But whenever adversity or calamity in some form of external aggression has threatened to disturb the peace of the environment, the force draws from within its abundant resources of spiritual energy to arm itself and vanquish the posing threat.
  • So too the Indian woman who has always been seen as the physically frail and weak being to her stronger male counterparts, has also been seen as one who could be abused and maltreated without fear of being punished, by some of her male oppressors in society. This no doubt has been going for quite some time with lone voices being raised now and then but quickly suppressed for the matter to die fast. Not this time though when a voice raised has picked up many more voices on the way to rise to a crescendo that shall not die down for a long time and the perpetrators of the crimes are being named, shamed and proceedings have started in some cases already. All because the women who earlier dared not speak, have found strength in their kindred’s united stand against such shameful oppression.

  • Fear has been the worst enemy of womankind since time immemorial, the physical prowess of the male suppressing or manipulating whatever good be done by the female to his own advantage. This fear was always unnatural with the woman never understanding that she was equal to a man in all respects and that the physical distinction was given by God since both had different purposes to serve in procreation and the forwarding of the human race. Further woman always had the brain that could have been used to match or outwit her male counterpart but never thought so because she had been mentally conditioned to think that man was superior in all ways by the males around her since she was born. The modern woman has grasped this fact with her independence that she acquired and then used to ‘telling’ effect since she came to know how. The Me Too Movement did not happen overnight. It was the culmination of seething that came to a boil and the resulting effect creating a nightmare for Indian males in positions of prominence especially, for being pulled into public glare ignominiously.
  • Maa Shakthi used the weapons of her choice based on the thinking of her enemy. The modern woman of India knows her most powerful weapon now is the use of social media and other forms of information media like the TV, Newspapers, the Internet and what not. Using this weapon the modern Indian Devi has chosen to use the worst fears of the egoistic male in being dragged in public focus and given a taste of his own bitter medicine that he never imagined in his worst dreams would be used against him.

The Me Too may have started with a Tanushree Dutta episode to reach such huge proportions of daily public trials for the tormentors and it shall be some time before they can get any relief from the crimes they committed if not by legal punishment but by scorching media glare and suspicious glances coming their way from even their close ones.

But it is a victory for  Indian women at large who have been helped by none other than their own divine manifestation Maa Shakthi who has chosen such an auspicious time as Navaratri especially for those hapless women who had suffered so long in silence and gave them courage to realize their own potential to rise against their tormentors.   

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