Amidst its grand Dasara celebrations, Mangalore is set to launch a social reformation movement to empower those who are bound by the shackles of tradition.
Amidst its grand Dasara celebrations, Mangalore is set to launch a social reformation movement to empower those who are bound by the shackles of tradition. This movement, the brainchild of Sri Gokarnanatha Kshetra in Kudroli, which is headed by former union minister and MP B Janardhana Poojary, aims to dispel humiliation meted out to widows and people belonging to backward classes.
Unjust to widows
“Vidhava Vidhanas (widows’ living methods) was a cruel custom created by upper-class Hindus. It has neither meaning nor use. It unreasonably rips off the right of the widow to apply sindoor and wear glass bangles. This has made widows look like social outcasts. Why should a woman who has served her husband throughout her life suffer once he is no more?” he said.
Poojary wants to reverse these practices and dispel them from society.
“Widows are treated like untouchables or social outcasts by their own kith and kin. They are not allowed to participate in any social occasion. This way, they are made to feel sorry about their existence without their husbands. A woman from Buntwal once wrote to me about this evil custom. The humiliation meted out by her kith and kin was so insufferable that she even thought of committing suicide,” he said.
He also pointed out that it was the purohitshahi that had suppressed the women in many ways. They even treated the widows with impunity. “I am not afraid of the wrath of the purohitshahi. I am ready to challenge them. For starters, I plan to distribute sarees, a box of kum-kum, bangles and flowers to over 300 widows. They will also be invited to take part in the Chandica Yaga at Kudroli temple on September 28 when the Dasara celebrations will begin. Next year, Dasara celebrations will be inaugurated by a widow,” he said.