Recently, a controversy surged on social media after journalist Sushmita Sinha criticized the Hindu festival of Teej as Sushmita Sinha held up a religious text and asked if she should use it as a tissue paper or a toilet paper. People have been demanding for her arrest and Mr Sambit Patra bashed the journalist on social media.

Late actor Irrfan Khan rightly said in his movie ‘Life of Pi’, “Doubt is useful. It keeps faith in a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it has been tested”. He quoted this reflective dialogue on national television when his religious beliefs were being questioned.

So, people can always question their religion when in doubt, but then when these questions turn into disrespectful remarks and hurt the religious sentiments of the masses then they are no longer questions but gimmicks. The general mass all over the world is very sensitive towards their religion and belief system. Well acquainted with this fact, people make statements defaming, degrading and denigrating religions and communities which often results in disharmony in the society.

Sushmita Sinha, The controversies regarding feminism and pseudo-feminists have also hiked on social media. The primary question here- Is feminism anti-religion?

We cannot overlook this fact too, that all over the world often religion has been misinterpreted to justify social evils as customs and traditions.These customs are generally made optional for men and compulsory for women. This division was imposed by the patriarchal structure of the society and not a religion in particular. With the growth of modern feminism and a radical approach to day-to-day lives, the rational and logical people find these traditions humiliating and shun them. There are examples like Sati, triple talakh which was essentially a social evil, was cleverly linked to religion and was hard to abolish.  As religion is closely related to our ancestors, our forefathers, our culture and our traditions, it’s a part of our emotions. Any question on religion hurts the sentiments of the masses.

In the name of feminism, journalist Sushmita Sinha insulted a particular religion and their belief system. She was shunned by many modern women and people all over the nation. Many have said that it seemed more of a publicity stunt than questioning the culture or tradition. Moreover, modern feminism doesn’t question religion but few practices. This woman’s approach to criticizing religion was too extreme and demeaning to custom, that a large number of modern women follow willingly.

Ankita Singh, currently living in Texas, USA is doing her masters in computer information system and business analytics from West Texas A&M University. Speaking about the video, she said, I recently saw a video by Sushmita Sinha where she is advising women not to practice beliefs like Teej since it is prejudiced against women citing some lines from the book (Teej vrat Katha). First of all, we are living in the 21st century and not each and every line from the book is being followed now. People have evolved and become flexible. Only the ones who can observe a strict fast, do it and others do it according to their capacity and will. Secondly, it was really annoying to watch such a video about a festival that women celebrate with so much love not only for their husband but for the happiness of their entire family. It is observed with so much purity that seeing someone having such negative views about it is unimaginable. My question is why would anybody have such a view. Women observe fast for their husbands and in a way it is good for their health too. How is this festival harming them or anyone else? I have been keeping this fast for 8 years now and mostly in the USA because I love my culture and it gives me immense pleasure to celebrate it wherever I am. I have chosen to speak against such videos which malign our history and traditions by talking about using a book with a picture of god and goddess as a tissue paper. Must say, we are surrounded with people having baseless theories and absolutely no respect for cultural heritage.”

The words used by her were derogatory to the Hindu beliefs and it’s obvious that religious sentiments were hurt. Wanting to use a text which had prints of Hindu deities as a tissue or a toilet paper is a condemnable act and it seems that Ms Sinha has been too strong with her choice of words. As she posted a picture showing the book being placed as a toilet paper, we need to understand that any book, for that matter, deserves much more respect even if one disagrees with the contents. 

According to a Patna-based academician, Rajashree Kanishk Raj, “ It’s just the matter of love for your husband…I have seen some of my family members taking fruits n water as well…Rituals are customized nowadays but making fun of it is completely unacceptable.”

Thus we see more and more modern women protesting against the video. As in India, we have the freedom to follow our faith; we need to respect the diverse cultures. The thin line between criticism and insult has been crossed.

This takes us to the question, is feminism against any religion? No. Feminism is simply against any oppression meted out to women in the name of traditions, religion, status, community etc. Feminism condemns any act of repression to any human being and it does not discriminate on the basis of religion, caste or gender. Let us not misunderstand and undermine the meaning of feminism because of the pseudo feminists of our modern society.

We have seen mass agitation, riots, hatred spewed on other religion or a person over some social media post or any other act which attempts to create disharmony among the masses

So we need to introspect, is it important for us to get triggered at any opinion being posted online? Are these degenerates who knowingly create friction in the society to be given any importance at all? And lastly are our religion, culture and traditions that easy to demean?

What do you have to say about this , let us know in the comments below.

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