In the past few weeks, a lot has been said about Sati Mata and Jauhar. Here’s my one minute rant on the issue.
Images or deified symbols of Sati Mata, are made on walls of forts and temple in Rajasthan. These are regularly worshipped by women. Regularly. Glorification of Jauhar and Sati has been happening for a long time. The real glorification happened when a bunch of women came out with swords and started giving false threats to commit mass suicide.
They didn’t need to see the movie to be influenced by it. Even if a film was not made, not screened, a book was not written, even then — the glorified status of Sati Mata is firmly entrenched in Rajput culture and in the psyche. Who dares to challenge that? Who dares to question that culture?
Instead of targeting a film director, a badly written script or a lame film, wouldn’t it be better if these organizations, these temples were challenged? They actually have organizations that intend to glorify Jauhar. The glorification or support of the same happened when the present day Chief Ministers kept quiet while the mayhem was happening. The rabble rousers were not put behind bars, under the Sati prevention law… their jauhar glorifying organizations were not dismantled.
So if anyone is seriously against Jauhar / Sati, they should take this up seriously with the CM, President and dismantle these symbols, temples, organizations. Only then it can be removed from the minds of people.
By Sangeeta Bodhi Das
Sangeeta is a published writer and illustrator. She currently works as a consultant with an NGO in New Delhi. Apart from that, she also works as a storyteller and a creative writer for English and Bengali language. Sangeeta has previously been a Jury member for Bal Bhavan’s nationwide competitions for children.
She has illustrated and designed books for Pratham Books and NAZ foundation. She has also published two stories as part of the collections – ‘Lighthouse in the storm’, published for the ‘Book Therapy’ project of AWIC (Association of Writers and Illustrators for children) and the anthology, ‘One Big Family’, Published by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony. That apart, Sangeeta also writes about women and gender issues.