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Eventually the bahu manages to convince her marital clan that such restrictions imposed by a ruthless patriarchal society on women are illogical, baseless, unscientific, and grossly inhumane.
Albeit it is a little late in the day but as a ‘feminist’ movie buff I am full of admiration for the 2020 Bangla film Brahma Janen Gopon Kommoti (The Creator Knows The Secret).
The film revolves around the doings of a feisty liberal young lady Shabari who vociferously lambasts the prevailing social dogmas which debar women from officiating as priests since they undergo menstruation every month. The protagonist also raises her voice against the concept and practice of kanyadaan.
Shabari is a Sanskrit lecturer at college, an accomplished vocalist, and yes you have got to believe this: an honorary priest. She has picked up the nuances of priesthood from her late father, a full time purohit. Incidentally the plot is based on the real life happenings of Nandini Bhowmick, a Kolkata based lady priest, who is often in the news for solemnizing weddings sans kanyadaan.
When a chance encounter with an eligible bachelor at a college ‘do’ leads to match making, she tells the groom-to-be that she does ‘puja’ among other things. Her words are misconstrued as the quotidian puja that (married) women perform in their homes.
While the nuptials are on she persuades the priest to skip the ritual of kanyadaan. After the wedding, Shabari is in for a ‘culture shock’ as the family is terribly orthodox. This compels her to pursue her priestly duties clandestinely.
When the surreptitious activities are ultimately exposed, her in laws are petrified. The womenfolk are further aghast to realize that Shabari even conducted the in-house puja while on her period. As expected, a huge drama unfolds, leading to her ostracization. Fortunately for her, they are neither aggressive nor violent, being timid, faint hearted people.
Eventually the bahu manages to convince her marital clan that such restrictions imposed by a ruthless patriarchal society on women are illogical, baseless, unscientific, grossly inhumane. And that women are in no way inferior to their male counterparts.
As the clarion call against the taboo imposed on ‘menstrual blood’ gets louder and clearer with each passing day, this film is indeed a shot in the arm for women’s activists and social workers; hence it is a must-see for everyone, irrespective of their age groups.
Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...
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A new Gallup poll reveals that up to 40% of Indian women are angry compared to 27% of men. This is a change from 29% angry women and 28% angry men 10 years ago, in 2012.
Indian women are praised as ‘susheel’, virtuous and to be emulated when they are obedient, ready to serve others and when they put the wishes of others before their own. However, Indian women no longer seem content to be in the constrictive mould that the patriarchy has fashioned for them. A Gallup poll looked at the issue of women’s anger, their worry, stress, sadness and found that women consistently feel these emotions more than men, particularly in India.
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