oppn parties This Durga Puja, Do Not Ask The Mother For A Son, Ask For A Child Instead If You Want A Progeny

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  • The government decides to decriminalize more than two-thirds of penal sections in the Companies Act
  • Muslim groups tell the Supreme Court that they want the Babri Masjid to be restored
  • Muslim groups claim that while they were asked questions in court, Hindus were not questioned
  • Postpaid mobile services restored in Jammu & Kashmir from today, but still no internet
  • Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian-American currently a professor at MIT, wins the 2019 Noble prize in economics jointly with two others
  • Industrial output slumps in August as the IIP shrinks by 1.1%
  • Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch a cultural show at the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram
  • J&K administration lifts the ban on entry of tourists in the Valley, but it remains doubtful how many will visit without being able to use mobile phones and internet
  • After Sena asks members to support the BJP candidate in Kalyan, 26 party corporators and 300 members resign setting off a crisis
  • The Centre sets up a 12-member committee to suggest systemic changes in the GST structure to improve compliance and collection, prevent misuse and evasion and rationalize rates and slabs
  • In line with the RBI outlook on the Indian economy, rating firm Moody's also downgrades growth forecast from 6.8% to 5.8% this year, saying the economy is experiencing a pronounced slowdown
  • HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh says the financial system in India does not offer foolproof security for misuse of the savings of the common man
  • Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, promoters of Ranbaxy and Fortis, arrested for their role in Religare Finvest scam
  • Supreme Court says marriage can be dissolved if it has broken down irretrievably
  • DA of Central government staff hiked by 5% to 17%
Sourav Ganguly is the new president of BCCI, says conflict of interest is a big concern
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This Durga Puja, Do Not Ask The Mother For A Son, Ask For A Child Instead If You Want A Progeny

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

A campaign is building around the invocation Bengalis make at the time of offering anjali to the Goddess Durga during the Durga Puja festival. In the invocation are the words putran dehi which are raising the hackles of many. The premier daily newspaper in Kolkata, The Telegraph, has started a movement (visit askfor.org for details and for supporting the movement) that seeks to replace the words putran dehi (give me a son) with the words santanan dehi (give me a child).

It is quite surprising that Bengalis, who worship most female deities, have been mindlessly praying for a son all these years. Even in Bengali households, the daughter is always the apple of the eye and has much more clout than a son. Then why this mindless invocation for a son, something which not in the Bengali character?

One believes it was because no one had thought about it previously. People generally do not give much thought to what the purohit tells them to utter during puja. Other aratis are also full of lines where "jo koi 'nar' gawe" (bless the man who sings it) rule the roost. Do only men worship? What about women? Ideally, the lines should be "jo koi bhakt gawe" (bless the worshipper who sings it). But in a patriarchal society, it was always the man who was put in front. Women were just there to sit beside him during the puja and maybe sometimes hold his hand as he made offerings to the deity.

But with girls now breaking free of the years of discrimination, supporting their family and old parents much better than some boys and shining in all fields, there is no need to utter putran dehi. Santanan dehi is the best option for those who want a child. For others, there is no need to utter any such words.

To support the movement click here.