नारीवाद: एक दृष्टिकोण

रावणले अपहरण गरेकी सीतालाई उनको राजा र प्रजाले अपनाएनन् । जीवनका अन्तिम क्षणसम्म वनवासी भइन् । तिनै सीताका “पति” रामले छलले बालीलाई मारेपछी तारालाई “जो तिम्रो पति थिएन, त्यसका लागि शोक गर्नुपर्दैन” भनिदिए । रावणको ध्यान भङ्ग गर्ने मन्दोदरीलाई नङ्ग्याए, अफसोच गरेनन् । कुमारी आमा कुन्तीले आफ्नै छोरोलाई पराइजस्तो व्यवहार भएको सहनपर्‍यो । एक दिन उनका पाँच भाइ छोराले भने, “हेर्नुस् त आमा, हामीले के ल्यायौँ” । उनले नहेरेरै भनिन्, “बाँडेर लिनू” । अर्जुनले स्वयंवर गरेर आएकी राजकुमारी द्रौपदीलाई मान्छेसम्म गनेनन् पाण्डवहरूले । कौरवले पनि रानी द्रौपदीलाई “वेश्या” भने । जुवामा थापे पाण्डवले, हुर्मत लिए कौरवले । विश्वयुद्धको तत्कालीन कारण बन्यो त्यही, जसमा कुरु वंश झन्डै विनाश भयो ।

पुराण/इतिहास/मिथकमा थुप्रै उदाहरण पाइन्छ नारीका दु:खका । हामीले बर्सेनि पढ्ने “स्वस्थानी व्रतकथा”मा सतीदेवीलाई नारायणले छल गरेर जोगी रूपधारी महादेवको हातमा सुम्पिदिन्छन् । कसैको चित्त बुझ्दैन तर “मेरो कर्मले यस्तै पारिल्यायो, के गर्ने” भन्दै सतीदेवी जान्छिन् । सतीदेवीका आमाबाबु भने तिनै छली नारायणलाई पुज्छ्न्, छोरीज्वाइँलाई हेला गरेर । सतीदेवी यज्ञको आगोमा होमिन्छिन् । तिनै देवीलाई देखाएर हज्जारौं वर्ष चल्छ पतिको लाशसँग जिउँदै जल्ने सतीप्रथा ।

“कर्म”को खेल दोहोरिन्छ गोमाको जीवनीमा पटकपटक । भाग्यवादको चङ्गुलमा अझैसम्म नारीहरू पिल्सिएका छन् । पतिव्रता वृन्दाको पति जालन्धर “पार्वतीलाई छल गर्न जान्छु” भन्छ । वृन्दाले पतिलाई त्यति प्रेम गर्दागर्दै पनि जालन्धर बाहिर चाहार्छ । उता नारायण पनि वृन्दालाई छल्न पुग्छन् उसैगरी । नारायणकी पत्नी लक्ष्मीको त नाम पनि आउँदैन । पुराणहरूमा “राक्षस” हुन् वा “भगवान्”, कुनै पुरुषबाट कुनै नारी सुरक्षित छैनन् ।

पुराण र कथाहरूको माध्यमबाट हाम्रो पुरुष अवचेतनमा नै नारीलाई हेप्नुपर्छ र नारी भोग्या मात्रै हो भन्ने पारिएको छ । त्यस्तै, नारी अवचेतनमा पुरुषको “दास” बन्नुपर्छ भन्ने कुरा बसेको छ । नारीवादी चेतनाले अवचेतनका यसप्रकारका गलत कुराका विरुद्धमा बोल्नु पर्छ भन्ने मान्यता संसारभर नै छ । पुरुषको शोषकवादी सोच ढाल्नु नारीवादको मूल उद्देश्य हुनुपर्छ । बोक्सीका नाममा सताइएका, दाइजोका लागि यातना दिइएका, मानव तस्करीमा परेका र यौनिक सन्तुष्टिका माध्यम बनाइएका वास्तविक पीडितहरूको न्याय नै नारीवादको ध्येय हुनुपर्छ ।

तर नारीवादमा “र्‍याडिकलिज्म”(Radicalism) हाबी छ। यो नारीवादले पुरुषलाई गलत मात्र देख्छ । नारीले पनि गल्ती गर्छन् भन्ने कुरालाई नजरअन्दाज गरिदिन्छ । शोषकवादी पुरुषको साटोमा शोषकवादी नारी स्थापित हुनुपर्छ भन्ने गलत मान्यता बोक्नु कदापि सही हुन सक्दैन । कानूनी आडमा पुरुषको जीवन तहसनहस पार्ने प्रवृति बढ्दो छ । पैसाका लागि केही नारीहरूले डिभोर्सको सहायता लिएका छन् । कोही प्रेमी या पतिलाई धोका दिँदै एनजीओ (NGO)को आडमा उल्टो पुरुषलाई नै अप्ठ्यारोमा पार्नेको संख्या पनि बढ्दो छ ।

व्यभिचार, धूम्रपान र मध्यपानलाई स्वतन्त्रताको प्रतीक मान्नेहरूको पनि कमी छैन । यी सब गलत हुन् भन्ने जान्दाजान्दै “पुरुषले गर्न हुने, महिलाले किन नहुने ?” भन्ने नारीहरूको कमी छैन अचेल । असल खराबको पहिचान गर्न सक्ने जुन नारीवादी चेतना छ, त्यसलाई र्‍याडिकलिज्मले ध्वस्त पारेको देखिन्छ ।

पीडित र पीडक जुनसुकै लिङ्गका हुनसक्छन् । केही फटाहा पुरुषका कारण सबै पुरुषलाई अनि केही बदमास महिलाका कारण सबै महिलालाई गलत देख्नु राम्रो होइन । तर एकले अर्कालाई शङ्का गर्ने वातावरण छ । शङ्काले लङ्का जलाउँछ भन्ने उखान छ । अर्थात्, जहाँ एकले अर्कालाई विश्वस गर्नै सक्दैन, त्यहाँ साथ र समन्वय कसरी हुन सक्छ ?

आमालाई पहिलो गुरु मानिन्छ भने घरपरिवारलाई पहिलो पाठशाला । नारीलाई नै घरपरिवार र समाजको सूत्रधार मानिन्छ । यद्यपि परिवार र समाजलाई अघि बढाउने काम नारीको मात्रै होइन, पुरुषको पनि हो । नारी र पुरुषको सहकार्यले नै संसार चल्दछ । “नारीपुरुष एकै रथका दुई पाङ्ग्रा हुन्” भनेर त्यसै भनिएको होइन ।

Oof Holi!

I don’t remember playing Holi because I never really played. This is the time when Spring arrives and I often used to get sick. Two years ago, my maternal grandmother passed away on the day of Holi. I used to be attracted by “Pichkari” (water gun) and I still do but I don’t participate.

The popular myth on Holi says:
This festival is celebrated after the death of Holika, the sister of Danava King Hiranya Kasyap (aka Hiranyakasipu). She wanted to kill her nephew Prahlad, who was a devotee of Vishnu. The Danavas refused to worship him. Holika had been granted a boon by Brahma that she would be untouched by fire. She carried Prahlad on her lap and sat on a pyre. Nothing happened to Prahlad because of his devotion.

In Nepal, this festival is celebrated in two days. (Actually seven days in Kathmandu Valley. Everyone seems to ignore this fact. Fagu Poornima (yesterday) in the Mountains and today in the Terai. No one knows why. Maybe because of different cultures that got the same/similar name.

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Whatever the reason behind the origin of the festival, I have seen that it has always been a concern for people (women, mostly)and the government. Not long ago, boys used to hit girls with rubber balloons (or later with plastic bags) filled with water (mostly filthy) weeks ago before Holi. Girls felt insecured. On the day of Holi, the situation would get worse. No one would be spared of cold water and colours (even if they did not want to participate).

It might not have been that horrifying for some years (I might have failed to observe!) but some youths still get themselves drunk or drugged (“Jhyap” in Nepali). Some boys also take it as an opportunity for sexual harassment. A British journalist took this issue to Twitter and I came to know it through Lex Limbu’s Facebook post and Neostuff’s page. Sexual harassment must not happen anywhere. No woman should suffer from such kind of behavior. Holi is not an opportunity to grope women and inflict fear into their minds. This is absolutely shameful!

Festivals are for fun not for fear. Any festival that inflicts fear is not a festival at all. Celebrate it if you want but don’t force others. And never take it as opportunity for sexual harassment.

तीजमा माइत जान नपाउने चेलीहरू

महिनौ देखि ‘तीजको लहरले छोयो काठमाडौंलाई । नेपालमा नै त्यस्ता ठाउँ पनि रहेछन् जहाँका महिला कहिल्यै माइत जान पाउँदैनन् । थप माइसंसारको यो लेखमा- http://www.mysansar.com/2016/09/24734/

Some women who died for love

I happened to see a photo on Facebook today. It says:

“Romeo died for love, Valentine died for love, Jack of Titanic, Samson from the Bible, Hercules, Achilles, and even Jesus died for love.”

And then it goes on to say that there is not a single woman who died for love. It challenges women to come with at least five names of women who died for love. I had a strange feeling towards this post. First I felt that it was a challenge to women. A few minutes later, I thought, “This post (most certainly made and circulated by men) is an example of stupidity. It was probably made by an arrogant teenager, who does not care the contributions of women in the world history and even in his life or an ignorant adult, who does not know anything.” But if it was intended to be a challenge, I said to myself, that it is indeed a good question. It checks the intelligence of his girl. This article, thus is an information to those who do not know the answers (or pretend not to know) and a help from my side who would like to get answers.

I have limits, though. I can’t tell anything from the Bible or the Iliad, whose characters appear above. I am unable to provide answers related to the history and literature I do not know. I’ll try my best in providing information of the five women I have known from the history of Nepal, and Nepali, English and Sanskrit literatures.

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1. Sati
I guess I had given primary information about her on my previous article. She comes back to show that hers was one of the most painful sacrifices for her love.

Sati, according to the Hindu Puranas was the daughter of Prajapati (King) Daksha and Virani. She was married to Shiva, the Lord of the Lords.
For the reasons that Shiva wandered around Kailash (his abode) on improper clothes taking narcotics, Daksha disliked Shiva. On one Yagya (a sacrificial worship) he did not invite Sati and Shiva but invited all his son-in-laws. When Sati knew of this through Sage Narad, she goes to the Yagya and quarrels with her father. He keeps humiliating Shiva, though. Unable to listen to those words, she sacrifices herself on the burning pyre set up for the Yagya. She burns slowly to death until her body is recovered by Shiva himself after a huge war against the soldiers of Daksha.

This story has been altered by Amish Tripathi  in the last book of The Shiva Trilogy. Sati, the wife of Shiva, fights with Daksha, the King of Meluha because he had been using the love of her life in suppressing the poor people of other neighboring countries. When she comes to know that Daksha has planned to kill Shiva, she fights the Egyptian killers. At the end of extremely violent and gory fight, she dies. Shiva comes later to bring about the destruction of Daksha and his country.

2. Muna
Muna is a famous character from Muna Madan, an epic poem by Laxmi Prasad Devkota. The plot follows Madan going to Bhot (Tibet) while Muna awaits at home in Kantipur (old name for Kathmandu).
Madan gets ill on the way returning back home. He is stranded is about to die when a Bhote (resident of Bhot) finds him and saves his life.
At home, however Madan’s friends tell Muna that he has died. Unable to suffer the pain of loss, though false, she dies before Madan comes home. Muna and Madan reunite in the heaven, after Madan dies a few days later.

3. Rajendra Laxmi
If you talk about love and leave away the love for motherland, you are misinterpreting love. This brave woman survived the custom of Sati (I have discussed it on my earlier article) because of her child to extend the territory of Nepal.
After the death of Pratap Singh Shah, the eldest son of king Prithvi Narayan Shah, she took over the responsibility of unifying the small states into a bigger Nepal. Initially, helped by Bahadur Shah- her brother-in-law, she united the eastern states and some of the western states as well. Fighting the unhelpful courtiers and family members, she continued the campaign. By the time she died, Nepal had its eastern territory up to Sikkim and western up to the Kali Gandaki river.

4. Julia Rana
It’s just been some days I have read about her. Born in the Rana family, she was the love of Martyr Dashrath Chand.
Dashrath Chand was a friend of Dharma Bhakta Mathema (another martyr) and was employed at the home of General Rudra Shumsher. There Julia and Dashrath met and both knew sometime later that they loved each other. Rudra Shumsher had agreed upon their marriage but the wedding was cancelled twice because of the deaths in the families. Later, the then Prime Minister, Juddha Shumsher got against Rudra Shumsher and he was exiled from Kathmandu. Almost a month after the exile, Julia died of TB. It was said in that article that Dashrath Chand did the rituals a husband does at the death of his wife and her death also ignited in him the anti-Rana views.

5. Juliet Capulet
My question to the creator of that challenge is- how can you separate Juliet from Romeo? If you have read this world famous work of Shakespeare, you will know that Juliet dies not once but twice- once in a pretence to bring Romeo back and in real when he dies. The pretence is made by the use of medicine (anaesthetic?) but Romeo gets a wrong message to find her dead. So, how could you dare to say that only Romeo died for love.

That’s all from my side. But as I write, I also ask a question- what is the definition of love in that Facebook post? It surely is not only the romantic love between a man or a woman. Jesus is an example for the love of humanity. If he can be included, why not include the names of Mother Teresa and her followers, Florence Nightingale, Eleanor Roosevelt, Benajir Bhutto and so many women who have spent their lives for the care of humanity? If sacrifice is what you call love, almost all women would be included. Women have sacrificed their parent’s house and comfort, changed their surnames, given up their jobs and interests, have died everyday and yet, have smiled just for you and your family. So if your girl or wife adds her name in that list, don’t get surprised. She has given a lot of things just for your happiness.

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