Yesterday Vishwakarma Puja was celebrated in my Department of Electrical Engineering. Lord Vishwakarma is a Hindu deity known as the divine engineer and architect in Hinduism.
Hindu mythology is full of Vishwakarma’s many architectural wonders. Through the four ‘yugas’, he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In “Satya yuga”, he built the Swarg Loke, or heaven, the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the ‘Sone ki Lanka’ in “Treta yuga”, the city of Dwarka in “Dwapar yuga”, and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the “Kali yuga”.
Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated on Kanya Sankranti day which comes after Ganeshotsav. All engineering and architectural community celebrate this day and worship Him. Craftsmen worship their tools in His name. He is supposed to provide excellence and quality in work and blessing for proper working of machinery and tools. Though the festival is mainly celebrated in factories and industries with much grandeur, we have the tradition of celebrating it in our engineering college’s laboratories and workshop also. Here is a photo feature of the whole event. Place the mouse on the photos to read the captions.
Before you read this post I must repeat my disclaimer that this is entirely my point of view and it may offend conservatives and orthodoxly religious people. Rest are mature enough to understand what I’m trying to say. India is a land of festivals and all of them centered around some god/goddess or other. Today is Ganesh Chaturthi which marks the beginning of Lord Ganesh‘s festival of 10 days. Yesterday students had come to us lecturers, as they do each year, for monetary contribution to the festival. All of us contributed. But if it had been for Bihar Flood Relief Aid, most people would have been suspicious and hesitant to give money because they know their politicians and officials. But still my point is that our institution or the students didn’t even try to raise a fund for the aid, whereas they are ever eager to collect money and celebrate yet another religious festival. The question in my mind is what is the point of religion?
Today is Jamai Shashthi i.e. Son-in-law day. Its a day in Bengali tradition; held every year in the Bengali month of Jaishtha; when the “Jamai” is treated with the best of the delicacies. The son-in-law is invited well in advance for the occasion. And when the daughter & son-in-law arrive, a few rituals are performed. The son-in-law also gets gifts from the mother-in-law. Basically a day to celebrate one’s son-in-law.
This got me thinking that why don’t we have a day to celebrate daughter-in-laws in India? A son-in-law who has taken away the daughter, sometimes even taking money to do that and maybe even mistreats one’s daughter is invited and showered with gifts!! And one burns the daughter-in-law if she has brought insufficient dowry!! Why don’t we celebrate the girl who has left her parents to be a daughter to the new family too and to look after one’s son and bear his child, who by the way carries your family name not hers. She even gives up her identity by adopting her husband’s surname and is not able to look after her own parents often. But she is not appreciated or celebrated with one special day just in her name. Most thankless relation I say! I demand a “Bahu” i.e. Daughter-in-law day! When I become one I too want to get gifts and eat my favorite dishes on that day. If he (my future hubby) gets it I want it too. So there!
Taking this further, why are there so many symbols an Indian girl has to wear to show she’s married? To declare she is someone else’s property or taken or back off to everyone?? There’s red bindi
I mean there should be no doubt left of an Indian women’s marital status in Indian society!!!
But what about our men? No, they don’t wear anything which may indicate their marital status except maybe their pot-bellies when in middle age!! Why this discrimination? This is one of the things I like about Christianity that they have wedding bands for both husband and wife.
Atleast one can accuse one’s husband in case he has an affair and the girl thinks he is single that “why did u take off your wedding band?” In Indian society there is no option at all!! Totally unfair I say!! What if I make my husband wear a ring with my name engraved on it ? Nice idea, eh?
Last but not the least, the tradition of Karwa Chauth and Vat Savitri Vrat which are different types of fasts Indian women are supposed to keep for the long life of their husbands and marital harmony!!! I suppose keeping them will solve problems of those women who are physically abused by drunk husbands? And a fast will ensure long life? Then why isn’t there such a fast for the husbands to keep? Do they want their wives to die early? The desire for life long companionship and efforts to achieve that, even if religious in nature, should be on both sides of the sacred bond of marriage.