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To hell with traditions. Instead of a priest, ask ask your parents or well-wishers to bless a special occasion. It'll be from the heart, not for money!
As an atheist I have rejected all religions and the traditions associated with them!
Over the years the world has developed enormously with technology and research. Even India has developed and many people are getting educated but the most important things like patriarchy, religion, caste, marriage systems and traditions associated with all these haven’t changed.
Even the men who talk rationalism are forgetting about the oppression women face in their own households. These rationalists talk about caste, religion and even marriage customs, but not against patriarchy.
When I said I am an atheist and I don’t believe in any religion and the traditions associated with it there was a huge backlash from friends and family, but eventually they accepted it.
Since society is constructed around all these traditions, breaking out really difficult. For example, whenever we start something or buy something, we call a priest to legitimize it. Like when someone buys a home, they look for vastu, astrology and after buying, a pooja has to be done. On top of that there is a hefty payment for all this. For everything, we need someone from outside to bless us or permit us to do things. And people are so much into it that they would spend lots of money on these poojas even though they can’t afford it.
When I bought my first bike, I told my parents that I don’t want to do pooja, they insisted that I should or else it won’t be safe to ride.
If we get married we would have to undergo a list of customs. I have seen atheists undergo all these traditions even though they don’t believe in them, just to satisfy the family and friends. These traditions are demeaning to women. They are asked to fall at the feet of husband and fast and do poojas for the long life of husbands. Why not make the husband do the same? These customs are also demeaning to lower caste people…as they are not allowed to learn or perform them.
In Tamil Nadu, for people who don’t want to follow these traditions there is an act called self-respect marriage act. This act legalizes the marriage without all these regular traditions but most families and society don’t accept that.
We cannot be called rationalist or feminist if we follow all these traditions, and I know it’s difficult even when I am writing this. I cannot assure you that I will be able to break all these but I will most definitely try. And everyone should, because why should we need someone to bless us or permit us to do the things? Why do I need someone to permit me to buy something? I am earning, I am buying a house it’s my blood and sweat that bought that house. It doesn’t require someone to come and do pooja so that I can be happy.
We also end up paying heavy money, and all for what? To hell with all these traditions. If you really want someone to bless the occasion, ask your parents or friends or well-wishers. That will be better, as they won’t do it for money, so it will be from their heart. We need to break all these traditions and not shame the people who are not following it!
Image source: Still from Piku
A Research Scholar, ardent book lover, and amateur writer who wants to write about the injustice in society in the name of religion and tradition and wants to break all the stereotypes. read more...
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I watched a Tamil movie Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer), recommended by my dad, on SonlyLiv, and many times over again since my first watch. If not for him, I’d have had no idea what I would have missed. What a piece of relevant and much needed art this movie is!
It is about an old farmer in a village (the only indigenous farmer left), who walks the path of trouble, quite unexpectedly, and tries to come out of it. I have tried my best to refrain from leaving spoilers, for I want the readers to certainly catch up on this masterpiece of director Manikandan (of Kakka Muttai fame).
The movie revolves around the farmer who goes about doing his everyday chores, sweeping his mud-house first thing in the morning, grazing the cows, etc and living a simple but contented life. He is happy doing his thing, until he invites trouble for himself out of the blue, primarily because he is illiterate and ignorant.