Ever since I was 6 years old I have sensed gender discrimination – I have fought, rebelled, questioned, objected, raged against even the slightest gender discrimination I or others were subjected to. Sometimes openly and more often within my mind. What I objected and raised my voice against were considered by others as “how things are supposed to be”, “that is how the society is” and well, “it’s a woman’s life”. I would not accept this on its face value. Consequently, I was called disobedient, misbehaved, emotional fool, unstable, crazy, selfish, unruly, rebellious and a total trouble.
I saw discrimination everywhere and in everything – very blatant here, so subtle there. I felt the pain. I raged. I fought. I screamed. But no one listened. It hurt me. Pushed me into a state of confusion, insecurity and identity crisis. I couldn’t stop feeling the pain, bitterness and anger. But everyone said what I felt was not justified. I couldn’t make sense of it. What was wrong? Why did I feel the way I felt and why could no one else seem to understand me? I knew I was right. I knew I was true to myself. But yet it was tearing me apart.
During this state of confusion, in my search of self and sanity, I came across Rita Banerji‘s article “Why won’t Kali Rage?” and she repeatedly posted many articles and tweets asking and probing Why? Why wont Kaali rage? For the first time Kaali demanded and then grabbed my attention. I saw the disheveled hair, the red shot angry eyes, the blood drenched long tongue. I saw the black naked body raging through the battle field. I saw THE NAKED KAALI in me.
Yet, it didn’t explain to me why no one else saw what I could until I read an article By Anand Giridharadas, about why Indian feminism is not a true feminism – it was a review of a novel, “You Are Here,” by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, . I was shocked to read it. I was _my_ story. As I read it I realized the missing piece in my jigsaw puzzle – All my struggles and confusions were simply the aspects and effects of a patriarchal society! I, my mom, my partner, my family, relatives, friends and the whole Indian society is conditioned – deeply conditioned – by the patriarchal setup and we are unable to see beyond it. It explained. For the first time I knew the why. I could smile. Finally I could understand my own pain, my anger, the reasons for my anger, and, myself!
THE NAKED KAALI can now rage in all her raw power!