Why only pitru-paksh? क्या महिलाएं हमारे पूर्वज नहीं थीं?


Let us start ‘matru-paksha’ today – the fortnight which is dedicated to paying respects to our ancestors.

आज से ‘मात्रु-पक्ष’ शुरू हो गया. इस पखवारे हम अपने पूर्वजों को श्रधांजलि देते हैं.

But, rest of India knows this fortnight as ‘pitru-paksha’ – father’s fortnight, not mothers’.

पर यह पखवारा ‘पितृ-पक्ष’ कहलाता क्यूँ है? क्या महिलाएं हमारे पूर्वज नहीं थीं?

A large section of India’s population believes that a period of ‘shradha’ began on September 16, a full moon day. And we are

expected to honour, remember and thank our ancestors – a sort of thanks-giving – this entire fortnight.
Expressing our respect and gratitude towards our ancestors should be done by boys/men, as well as girls/women. After all, they were ancestors of both sex.

या महिलायों को अपने पूर्वजों का सम्मान करना और धन्यवाद देना उचित नहीं?

Then why gender stereotyping by calling it ‘fathers’ fortnight? Why is it that men – generally elder men – alone do the thanks-giving?

After all, our ancestors were important for me, AND, my sister. They taught us both.

मेरे पूर्वजों ने मुझे और मेरी बहन को भी बहुत कुछ सिखाया. तो वह ‘श्राद्ध’ क्यूँ नहीं कर सकती?

And our ancestors were both men AND women. In fact, we learnt a whole lot from our women ancestors – mothers, aunts, grandmothers!

The main act of remembrance and thanks-giving is offering water – ‘tarpan’.

Can women not offer water to their ancestors?

हमारे पूर्वज महिलायों ने हमें बहुत सिखाया—माँ, मौसी, चाची, नानी, दादी??
तो उनको भी तो ‘तर्पण’ देना होगा? पानी चढाने का काम तो लड़कियां और महिलाएं भी कर सकती हैं?

Moreover, the tradition suggests that ‘pitru-dosh’ afflicts those who do not undertake ‘shradha’ ceremony for their ancestors. It can also be a ‘matru-dosh’, if women ancestors are not offered ‘shradha’? सिर्फ पितृ-दोष ही क्यूँ, मात्रु-दोष भी क्यूँ नहीं?

समय आ गया है की हम इस पखवारे को ‘पूर्वज-पक्ष’ का नाम दें. और हर महिला, पुरुर्ष को अपने महिला/पुरुष पूर्वजों को धन्यवाद देने और स्मरण करने के लिए आमंत्रित करें.

Time has come to call this as ‘purvaj-paksha’, or ‘parivar-paksha’. Even single men and women have ancestors, and are interested in giving thanks to them.

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