On International Women’s Day, it is sad to see messages justifying the reason for being a woman.  Especially since in India Devi is worshipped in most corners of the country. As an Adi-Shakti, she epitomises the essence of Shakti herself, she represents consciousness, and she is the symbolism of Prakriti. She is Ardhnari without whom the male is void.

This is the country where girl child is worshipped as Kanjika, where various avatars of women are worshipped as conserver of forest, as the harbinger of wealth and knowledge, as the protector for natural calamities or epidemics, or as benevolent mother who protects all.

And today, the role and existence of women is being questioned. Are women only to be used as tools of recreation and procreation? Is our only duty is to manage household, children and sometimes contribute to family fund?

It is disheartening to open the newspaper in the morning and read of daily stories of torture. I have heard of similar such stories in my own home as well.

On this International Women’s Day, can women/ girl-child of this country have the freedom and liberation from age-old notions of women hood? Can we freely roam around in our own country at any time of day? Can we fall in love and marry the person we want to? Can we freely speak our own mind without any inhibitions? Can we eat, drink or smoke without being labelled as something? Can we wear clothes we look good in, are comfortable in and not get stereotyped into some category?

I am a woman and am proud to be so. I don’t need a special day to celerate my being. But on this Women’s Day, I demand from my country to be treated as equal with men in all strata of society.

If this is feminism, let it be so,
Pooja

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