Despite being quite a natural process, menstruation is considered to be a taboo, even in the 21st century. Though there have been significant changes in a section of society with regards to the subject in the recent past, a large part of the society still feels ashamed of discussing menstruation openly. Menstruating women are still not allowed to carry out a large number of chores, particularly those relating to Gods and worshipping them. In such a scenario, an artist has shown the courage to create a menstruating Durga poster and has got slammed big time for his act.
Durga Puja is just around the corner and it is time to celebrate the Goddess who is seen as the greatest symbol of a woman’s power. But at the same time, during every Durga Puja, a number of women are kept away from the celebrations because of one reason- menstruation.
Highlighting the same, an artist has taken a bold step to create a menstruating Durga poster. The menstruating Durga poster underlines the double standard of the society that worships a woman deity but feels ashamed of one of the most integral parts of her life – periods!
The menstruating Durga poster has been designed by Aniket Mitra, a graphic designer who works in Hindi cinema. The poster shows a sanitary napkin having a decorative halo all around it. The halo resembles the one that is usually seen around the representation of Goddesses.
At the center of the sanitary napkin shown in the menstruating Durga poster is a red colored lotus depicting menstrual blood. With this poster, Aniket Mitra aims to start a discussion about the rights of menstruating women. You can take a look at the menstruating Durga poster below:
Below the image, the text written is – Satti Rupan which means “I bow to the truth”. Traditionally, the original text used with Durga is Shakti Rupan which means “I bow to the Goddess”.
To him, it is unthinkable and disappointing that women who wait for Durga Puja for the entire year are kept away from the festivities if they are on their periods. He is also appalled by the fact that there are very few facilities available on public places for menstruating women.
News18 quotes Aniket Mitra saying,
“I have watched first my sisters and now my wife struggle with taboos regarding their periods. I have seen them be asked to not come to certain places because they are menstruating. As someone living in 2018, this infuriates me.
Every year, the state government spends a lot of money during Puja. Committee also raise a lot of money for their respective pandals. Everyone knows that women are going to be out on the streets. Yet no one ever tries to get vending machines that dispense cheap sanitary pads in pandals. No one tries to get clean bathrooms for women.”
While Aniket Mitra hoped that his initiative would bring a change in the society, it has left him and his family on the target of trolls, hateful comments and harassment. This reached such a level that he eventually ended up removing his post comprising the menstruating Durga poster. He said,
“I hear there is even an attempt to lodge a complaint against me. But I have faith in Kolkata Police. Don’t think they would respond to such a baseless complaint.”
Surprisingly, the section of society from which he faced severe criticism for creating the menstruating Durga poster comprised women as well. Do check out some reactions by Twitter users condemning Aniket Mitra’s art:
Arrest these moronic ‘artists’ and their swine art before it causes more damage. #AniketMitra . His so-called art is ghoulish. Filled with hatred. Enough to trigger violence. And not intended to what he’s hiding behind. https://t.co/zBsr3GaVf2
— Ajoy Chatterjee (@AjoyChatterjee) October 4, 2018
Had Durga ever produced Children? Was she married? If all those are no, than that artist crossed the line. To assume Durga menstruating because she is a woman. Gods, and Goddesses should be off topic.
— Iskailow (@Iskailow1) October 3, 2018
This is so sick..y these ppl find it easy to target hindu gods n goddess..cn they show Mary in d same place..too many leftists in bengal😠😡 https://t.co/jX0CMaDooI
— madhu (@madhum1980) October 3, 2018
— Trusty Ptolemaic (@TrustyWilli) October 4, 2018
At the same time, he also got the support of some. Take a look:
Great expression by an artist. Right to equality. But society does not deserve such great work. Some idiot people forced this artist to remove his work. https://t.co/cw9nVw4qkk
— Munish (@munishkindian) October 2, 2018
WTF @FACEBOOK!!! They removed his art from his timeline. What right do they have? How is this offensive? God I hate FB Artwork Of ‘Menstruating’ Durga Lands Artist In Trouble Ahead Of Pujo https://t.co/gqAuZVPnK7 via @ndtv
— feral (@shuboogie) October 4, 2018
Why can’t Goddess Durga hv period? Having period is the essential inseparable part of womanhood. Lets celebrate it rather than dismissing it as a taboohttps://t.co/TZC0MC9gUt
— Sahil Prasad🌈 (@laxmi407) October 4, 2018
We deserve more people like him!!
— Tripti (@triptivrma114) October 4, 2018
Any cycle of mother nature is a creation of God and what God created cannot be insulting Maa Durga or anyone. https://t.co/7KbzkNGUit
— Atul Sabharwal (@sabharwalatul) October 4, 2018
Do you think Aniket Mitra’s menstruating Durga poster is the right way of standing up for the rights of menstruating women to participate in religious ceremonies?