Women’s day and Intolerance.
1. When I sit for doing a homan or such puja, my wife stands behind me with a ‘darbha’ grass touching my shoulder and after some prayers I take it put it in the fire, letting her go free to attend other matters. Thus the holy fire is started with her participation.
When the homan kunda is to be lit, the fire is bought from the kitchen by her and the offerings then start.
When the dakshina is paid to the priest for the services rendered, she is asked to drop a few drops of water on the offerings to signify her ‘power of attorney’ in the financial decision.
2. Festivals like Varalakshmi Nombu or observances like ‘Seembandham’ / Mangali Pondugal are women only affairs with men’s participation being very little.
3. Why we even have a entire 9 day festival of Navratri devoted wholly to worshiping the deity in a female form.
I am not implying that women in India and fully emancipated or do not need further empowerment. There are many practices and prejudices that need to be overhauled.
I am on the narrow point of ‘intolerance’ a term that seems to be bandied around a lot these days.
Take the other two major religions in the world. Ask yourself what is the role of women in those cultures.
1. In one women are expected to be shrouded in black cloth. Equally vile, in the other culture women are expected to expose / color their hair / face paint / show cleavage / plastic jobs / starve for a bony thin body. Another form of enslavement.
2. What festivals are women only festivals?
So thus the question on women’s day
Which major cultures are showing more intolerance to women?