These Real Life Maa Durga Images Leave Behind a Lot of Questions On Gender Based Inequality In India
India’s feminist fight is generally one of extremes. Oscillating between horrific brutalization and the placement of its ‘goddesses’ on pedestals, we’re not much closer to finding a bridge between the two to rest our battle-weary selves. But if there’s one thing we’ve seen an inspiring change in, it’s the number of artists bringing true attention to the realities. Among many such champions, this starkly monochrome photo story by Sharmistha Dutta moved us more than others, perhaps because of its choice to focus on a sub-sect of women who rarely receive the attention—-Indian widows.
She also portrays a common woman as Maa Durga in her project. Bengalis have been celebrating Goddess Durga as the embodiment of ‘stree Shakti’. It becomes crucial to see how a woman in the present world, finds her place in an increasingly patriarchal society of India. It is a place where her voice is deliberately muffled and she has to fight for an equal status – social, economic & even sexual– which the man so takes for granted.
She travelled and photographed in Delhi, Kolkata and Varanasi. The hardcore research work led her to Vrindavan, where she photographed the widows.
It is time we realised that there resides a DURGA in every woman, whether she is the well-educated lady from the upper echelons of society, the quintessential middle class working woman, the village simpleton or the old and abandoned widow in Vrindavan.
See more of Sharmistha Dutta’s project photographs Here
Source – HomeGrown
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