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Six Young Women React To Deepika Rajawat’s Cartoon Tweet Say Selective Deification Is Problematic

Deepika Rajawat Cartoon Tweet

Indian women hold an extremely complicated position in the society, on the one hand, they are revered as pure, infallible goddesses and on the other, they are subjugated and subjected to heinous crimes. Recently, Advocate Deepika Rajawat drew attention to the same paradox when she shared a cartoon via her Twitter account. The illustration depicts how Indian men deify and revere women during the auspicious nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri and inflict violence on them the rest of the year. Rajawat captioned the cartoon “Irony.”

The post drew flak and outrage from religious masses who even went as far as to demand Rajawat’s arrest. However, it also sparked a pivotal conversation around Indian society’s hypocritical attitude towards women.

SheThePeople.TV reached out to six young Indian women and asked them about their views on the cartoon in question and the larger issue of the selective deification of women.

Also Read: Deepika Rajawat’s Cartoon Tweet Shows The Truth, Then Why the Outrage?

Hypocrisy At Its Best

Twenty-year-old Kritika Dixit, a student of Delhi University, deemed the cartoon as an accurate representation of the hypocrisy in Indian religiosity. She said, “We ostensibly worship goddesses and celebrate the power of femininity in religion but simultaneously oppress and exploit the same femininity socially, sexually and economically in reality”. Furthermore, Dixit said that women are denied the status of dignified and equal humans either way. “Women are either looked upon as weaker beings to be overpowered or as deities that are beyond humanity. Both of these imposed images are extremely harmful to women’s rights,” she said.

Delhi–based writer Tania Saini, too, concurred that the cartoon perfectly captures the hypocrisy of society towards women. She said, “Indian society loves to put the burden of honour and purity on women’s shoulders. What it fails to understand is that revering women for nine odd days is ultimately futile in the face of rampantly increasing rape cases. Will worshipping female deities during Navratri bring the Hathras rape survivor back to life? I don’t think so. We need rape reforms, not religious fervour.”

“Can We Have Nine Days Of Zero Crimes Against Women?”

Delhi-based Guneet Kaur, a corporate consultant, emphasised the need to ensure that women are treated with the same respect in reality as they are in religious rituals. “Instead of concentrating on the religious aspect of the cartoon, people should focus on the social reality it depicts. Nine days of worshipping women are well and good. However, as a country, can we ensure nine straight days of zero crimes against women?

Twenty-year-old Sakshi Goel, a student of Shri Venkateswara College, Delhi University echoed the same sentiments. She said, “This (the cartoon) is the appalling truth of our times. We worship women in the temples but act like they are inferior beings outside them. People need to respect women not because they are ‘avatars’ of goddesses but because they, too, are humans.”

Also Read: Navratri Reminds Us Of A Goddess Within All Women: Visithra Manikam

“How Do We Reconcile The Deification Of Women During Navratri With Our Everyday Reality?”

Twenty-one-year-old Sukhmani Bawa, a resident of Gurugram, Haryana, highlighted the contrast between the deification of women during the festive season and the everyday subjugated reality of women. She said, “Nirbhaya, Unnao, Kathua, and Hathras – women in India are not safe at all. The trolls who are threatening and abusing the woman who shared the cartoon are only proving her point. They are ostensibly fighting to preserve the sanctity of their goddesses and festivals. However, in reality, they are just reinforcing the inferior status of women in Indian society.”

Piya Sachdeva, a 22-year-old management consultant from Delhi, said that men shouldn’t have to wait for religious festivals to honour women. She said, “The cartoon shows the rampant rape culture in India. Leave alone sexual crimes, women are not even allowed a voice in a patriarchal society like ours. Maybe the best way to appease the revered goddesses is to uplift, support, and respect the women around us.”

Also Read: This Navratri, Pledge To Unleash Your Inner Fierce Goddess

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV