Defying stereotypes: A Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata has four female priests performing the holy rituals
Kolkata’s Durga Puja is one of the most beautiful festivals in the country. Every year, Durga Puja organisers go to great lengths to come up with fresh concepts that draw visitors from all over the world. This year, the organisers of 66 Pally Durga Puja in Kolkata’s Rash Behari Avenue have defied a century-old stereotype by bringing in female priests to perform all of the rites.
66 Pally’s theme for this year’s Durga Puja is ‘Mayer Haate Mayer Abahon’, roughly translated to Mother goddess will be worshipped by mothers.
After the puja committee’s veteran male priest passed away at the end of last year, four women, Nandini Bhowmik, Ruma Roy, Seymanti Banerjee, and Paulomi Chakraborty, were roped in to conduct this year’s puja.
The senior office-bearer of the puja committee, Pradyuna Mukherjee said: “four women are all scholars having great command on scriptures, professors in their respective fields, and fit the bill as a worshipper of the goddess in every possible way.”
He further argued: “Don’t women make all the arrangements for conducting puja rituals in household and para puja? If there can be women clay modellers if there can be women organisers, why not women priestesses?”
According to sources, if the priestesses are approved this year, the puja committee would continue the trend next year. It also depends on the willingness of the priestesses to maintain their involvement with the puja.
Unlike traditional priest groups, the all-women priestess group claims to have no lead or head priestess. They want to teach people how to do rituals in accordance with long-standing traditions and encourage other women to travel into areas where they haven’t gone before.
Kolkata's 66 Pally Durga Puja organisers' unique concept of female priests has turned into a significant crowd puller | OpIndia Newswww.opindia.com
Congratulations to the progressive, senior office-bearer of the puja committee, Pradyuna Mukherjee.
Do you really mean it?When you say women are treated on par with God it is for the respect. It is not a strategy by patriarchy. It is well meaning to give women their due place. We need to strive to live up to that level and not reduce the standards we afford to women.
Badminton ace P.V. Sindhu said Indians rarely walk their talk in terms of respecting women, and said that the recent ‘Me Too’ movement increased awareness on sexual harassment at workplace.
Addressing a symposium on sexual harassment at the workplace titled ‘SH(Out) – Sexual Harassment Out: We are Listening’ organised by She Teams of Hyderabad Police in association with Soroptimist International Hyderabad here on Friday, Ms. Sindhu talked on the contrast between India and foreign countries in this respect.
“When I was travelling abroad, I noticed that people have a lot of respect for women and their privacy, and I felt happy about it. But in India, people only say that women should be respected, but the same is not practised,” she said. The ‘Me Too’ movement has ushered in a lot of awareness about sexual harassment, and has educated both men and women of their responsibility towards society, she said. “Women should be strong and believe in themselves. They should come out and speak about the harassment that they face,” Ms. Sindhu said.
OK, so are you saying it is not important that Indian women are marginalized?even in wealthy countries .........
Key statistics on violence against women in Australia
- On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.1
- 1 in 3 Australian women (30.5%) has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.2
- 1 in 5 Australian women (18.4%) has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.3
- 1 in 3 Australian women (34.2%) has experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a man since the age of 15.4
- 1 in 4 Australian women (23.0%) has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner since age 15.5
- to read more https://www.ourwatch.org.au/quick-facts/
I agree Prasad ji. At the present time condition of women is bad in India. But I think it is everywhere the same. That may indicate a deeper problem. So if we understand that we can address the problem better.OK, so are you saying it is not important that Indian women are marginalized?
What is the meaning of your post in this thread?
We are talking about the condition of women in India at the present time.
Dear Shri Mani,Patriarchal society had been dominant for a very long time throughout in history. Slavery is another one. All will take several generations to change. Societal changes are extremely slow. Sathi was abolished only in the 19th century. As long as both political and economic freedom are constrained, women will be treated badly even though Indians will worship Mataji- Kali, saraswathi, Parvathi….. and chant Laxmi Ashtoram etc. Even when a horoscope is written “ janani janma saukyanam, varadadham kula sampatham.. “ Also.
Saundarya Lahari : Soundarya Lahari Sloka 1
“Shivah Shakthyaa Yuktho Yadi Bhavathi Shakthaha Prabhavithum
Na Chedevam Devo Na Khalu Kushalaha Sphandithumapi
Prananthum Sthothum Vaa Kathamakruthapunyaha Prabhavathi!”
“Shiva becomes capable of creating the Universe, only when united with Shakthi (Thee), but otherwise (when not so joined with Thee), He is incapable of even a stir, How then could one, who has not acquired merit (punya)- in this and previous births worship Thee or at least praise Thee, who is adored even by Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and others?”
Thus, at least Indian Hindu male chants and wants blessings from these Female Gods yet treat the women as an untouchable(except in the night). Rishis and Rish Patnis of our ancestors did not discriminate again women (exception Akalya was cursed by so called Rishi Gautama) even though that was predetermined for Akhalya to get blessed by Lord Rama.
If we are real Brahmans in this forum , let us take an oath that we will not mistreat women – daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmas… But economical and ego based society will never prosper.
This site is open to all. There are members who are not birth-brahmins.If we are real Brahmans in this forum , let us take an oath that we will not mistreat women – daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmas… But economical and ego based society will never prosper.
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