Durga Puja is a festival of love, shopping, unlimited food, and festivity of course. It is a festival in which we worship “Devi Durga”, synonymous to the power of women. Each and every year thousands of women are restricted to take part in this festival, just because they are having their “Periods” [which is completely natural].
Aniket Mitra, a graphic designer who has created a poster depicting a sanitary napkin. The napkin is covered by a halo, which usually the representations of the goddess. A red lotus is painted with blood on the napkin. With the poster, the artist is questioning our society, that a girl who waits eagerly for the annual festival was banned from participating in pujas because of her periods.
In India, menstruation continues to be a taboo and end no. of traditions and rituals deny menstruating women from getting equal treatment. Right before Durga Puja artist Aniket Mitra designed this picture and said, “I have watched first my sisters and now my wife struggle with taboos regarding their periods. I have seen them be asked to not come to certain places because they are menstruating. As someone living in 2018, this infuriates me,”.
In fact, the artist claimed that the trolls had even found his wife and brother and other family members who were also being harassed. Spurred by the Sabarimala debate that ensued days after the image was released, the trolling reached such levels that an insecure Mitra had to finally remove the post.
The artist said that for him, art was a form of protest and this was an issue he felt strongly about. However, what surprised him was the opposition he had to face from women themselves, many of whom told him that such things should not be posted in ‘public’. But despite all these, Mitra hoped that his initiative would have some impact.