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Sindoor Khela is a ritual performed every year on the last day of Durga Puja – Vijayadashami. But, why restrict it only to married women?
Why do you need to be a man’s wife first to participate in a ritual? Durga Puja itself denotes the celebration of woman’s universal power. Aren’t we demeaning the women who aren’t ‘privileged’ to be a wife?
Recently, The Times of India came out with a video ‘Sindoor Khela’ for the daughters who never got to play in this ritual. The video features eminent Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta, Manabi Bandopadhyay, the first transgender person in India to complete a Doctor of Philosophy, Gargi Roychowdhury, another popular actress of the Bengali screen, and Sohini Sengupta, popular theatre actress.
Durga Puja is the greatest festival of the eastern hemisphere (and a pretty big one in other parts of the country), so why make anyone feel small by putting up barriers? Is it a sex worker’s fault that she works to pay her bills? Why is it a crime to be a lesbian? What if a woman is no longer married? If the Supreme Court of India can provide transgendered people with their due rights, why can’t we include everyone in this holy ritual of Sindoor Khela which is all about togetherness?
According to mythology, the colour red denotes bravery, protection, and strength. These women are brave enough to fight every day with society and its vicious norms. They are living examples of strength. They don’t need your protection because all their life they have done that alone. Hence, let us smear their faces too with vermillion and not just that of the married woman.
Who are you and I to decide who is eligible to participate in Sindoor Khela? Maa Durga belongs to everyone. As it is rightly conveyed in the video – this poojo let’s change the tradition of division.
Watch and enjoy!