Twelve year old Zahra wailed helplessly watching her fourteen year old brother Zahir finish the last cream biscuit packet.
Ammi had strictly warned her not to have any more cream biscuits for reasons she could not understand. Little did she know that she was being trained to be a submissive wife of a thirty year old man in a few weeks.
Her young mind could not even fathom the changes in her body let alone marriage!
Twenty- two year old Usha prayed silently as the whole village watched with thirsty eyes. In the next few moments the fact whether the bedsheet was stained red or crisp white will decide the future of her marital life.
Virginity test, a common ritual for the newly wed shamelessly violates physical and mental rights of a woman.
Thirty-five year old Adam wept in tears as a nurse wheeled out the lifeless body of his once beautiful wife. She had died during child birth of their fourth son.
Had he put the doctor’s advice over his grandmother’s belief of sinful abortion, his beloved Annie would still have been with him. No prayer could douse the burning rage he felt within.
Rituals have been prevalent ever since the birth of human communities, descending from hard core ancient kind to a softened present day version.
Mankind has traversed generations in time but unfortunately, not in thinking. Modern day society still has a significant percent of those who dumbly execute pointless rituals, choosing to overlook the harm in the name of “safeguarding traditions”.
A fine line separates rituals and traditions. Sadly, the wise thinking that age and experience was supposed to bring, never reached out to most of the people.
We still see people supporting triple-talaq, marriage alliances refused in the name of scanty dowry and countless other examples.
But as an educated Indian citizen with a generous amount of common sense it’s up to you to identify what rituals are to be safeguarded and what not.
For instance I strongly oppose human sacrifice and other senseless rituals but I am definitely not an opinion-less follow the herd sort of person.
Recently Kerala saw the rise of an ugly uproar between believers of the Sabarimala temple customs and the other section of the public who sought entry into the temple in the name of feminism and women’s rights, thereby tarnishing the humble yet fierce meaning of feminism.
I am a firm supporter of women’s rights and equality. If the planning and work put into pointless execution of entry into religious institutions that only restrict entry of women in a “particular age group” was instead dedicated to the education of girls, uplifting women trapped in brothels and victims of domestic violence the word feminism would have stood vindicated in it’s meaning.
Misinterpretation often leads to worsening of current unpleasant muddle . Many fail to understand the delicate essence of inclusive empathy in feminism in the defiant hurry to oppose all things customary.
Identifying the right from the wrong is applicable in all aspects of human life. It’s the very reason we have been blessed with a sixth sense!
Certain rituals even define who we are and function as a gentle reminder of our birth roots. They are a crucial part of a particular society that makes each culture stand out in its own vibrant brilliance. Forgetting or tarnishing them in exchange for credulous modernization is a grave mistake whose results will surface after long but there will be no room for correction.
Our society has efficiently excluded atrocious practices like sati. We have come a long way in terms of development. It’s up to each and every individual to safeguard the necessary rituals and negate the rest.
Disclaimer: The names used in the above blog are purely fictional and any correspondence to real world people is entirely coincidental.