We have the Shakti, we have the Power, we only need to be confident, brave and believe in ourselves. Times are changing, women have become more independent. They are learning and earning too. Yet there is a decree of foreboding as they march to the forefront. Shackles of male dominance and subjugation raise their ugly hood in different forms. Down the ages women have been undermined, used as pawns in power play, treated with disrespect if they ever raised a question. As centuries passed the obvious was contained, voices were stifled given the garb of societal pressures, yet what is can’t be denied. How long are we going to allow these vagaries of men to be pushed into the depths of anonymity? There must come a time where we stand up for each other, stand up for our rights, voice our opinions with clarity. We can and we should clamp down oppressive diktats of power play.
The #MeToo movement has given an opening for voices to be heard, for unity against men who perpetrate crime against women and believe that they will go scot free. Justice delayed is justice denied in many a cases where the victim is so destabilized that their entire life changes after such an incident. It is these scars that destroy the future and they remain as a reminder to their defeat, demoralizing them to begin afresh. The #MeToo campaign has caused an awareness that hopefully will shame the men that brought about this devastation in these women’s lives. The public outrage at discovering this devious side of so-called saintly/respectable/ reputable men may help in dissuading others from exploiting other women similarly. The victim no longer should feel victimized, but be able to breathe free.
However, the Pandora’s box now has opened a fresh challenge. Value systems are changing and with them are changing the dynamics of relationships. Any woman can take advantage of this movement to rally forces against someone that she hates or wants to publicly shame. Though hard to prove, because it is often his word against hers, with no apparent witness, the public sympathy more often than not, will lie with the woman. An innocent man may have to undergo a huge amount of slander before his name is cleared of such a crime.
In India, a revolution has begun. While I truly stand by the need for women to finally get themselves heard, it should not end up deterring the men that actually want this equality for them. Women joining the campaign and dropping names of established men in the society to just get noticed please realize that you would be doing a great injustice to your tribe. While real situations have to be addressed and given a conclusion. Adverse reactions to being bullied in neutral spaces can be dealt with empowering your own self, and tactfully re-instating your own position.
While we are in the midst of Navratri , a festival that celebrates the power of a woman, lets draw our strength from these 9 forms of Durga and embolden ourselves with dignity, reassurance and determination to create an equal world of happiness and harmony.
1.Sailaputri : Means the daughter of mountains also known as Sati Bhavani or Parvati. Goddess Shailaputri symbolizes the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She has within her the embodiment of all the Gods. In one word, she is the world.
2.Brahmachariṇi : She symbolizes spirituality and meditation. She is the harbinger of peace, prosperity and happiness.
3. Chandraghaṇṭa : She represents a totally different from that of Durga, who shows her angry side when provoked. She showers blessings of courage and bravery.
4.Kusamaṇḍa : Ku means little, Ushma means energy and Anda means cosmic egg. She is the beginning of creation. The one that ended darkness of the universe.
5.Skandamata : She brings with her the blessings of wisdom, power and prosperity. She is the life –form of fire…that symbolizes energy.
6. Katyayani : She is the Warrior Goddess. Mythology says that she eventually led to slaying the demon, Mahishasura and then mounted the lion given to her by Goddess Gauri.
7.Kalaratri : She is the destroyer of evil. Depicting the darker side of life, where there is no injustice that goes unpunished and no forgiveness granted to the malicious. When no other forces work, she comes to being to destroy the sinful. This is the violent form of Goddess Durga.
8.Mahagauri : She represents purity, energy and brilliance. She is compared to a ray of lightning.
9.Siddhidatri : She is all pervasive. She is knowledge.
The Goddesses represent what we women have within us. Bring out the Goddess in you by empowering yourself. Do share this with every woman who needs encouragement, the feeling of self-worth and the strength to combat whatever vagaries life may offer. We all are winners every day when we chose to empower another