Durga Inverted, Oil on canvas + stitched canvas, Kurchi DasguptaDurga Inverted, Oil on canvas + stitched canvas, Kurchi Dasgupta

This Dashain, two instances where Mahishashura won

Nepal’s biggest festival – a ten day observation of different manifestations of Goddess Parvati taking the form of Durga Devi to destroy Mahishasura, and the following five days of Tika as a celebration of her victory ended yesterday.

Meanwhile, in real life, within our geographical area (and 3 kms beyond), two women were killed owing to Gender Based Violence.

Dhangadi: Husband kills wife over ‘extra-marital affair’

In Kailali district of Nepal, a husband returning home for the festivities after labouring in India saw his wife with an unknown man within his home – in a fit of rage he beat his wife. The incident occurred on 8th October, the first day of Tika. She remained unconscious for four days until Friday when the police were informed. Finding her unconscious, police sent her to Nepalgunj for treatment. She was sent home, and on Sunday, en route to another hospital, she succumbed to her injuries.

Police have arrested the husband, and he awaits a trial.
Jogbani: Nepali woman suspected to have been killed over dowry issue

A Nepali married woman is suspected to have been killed by her in-laws over a dowry row at Bedayari of Jogbani in Attariya district, India. Body of Ranjana Sahani (Bahardar), 22, who was married to an Indian national, was found at Paraman river, three kilometers south of Jogbani bazaar on Sunday. Sahani sustained bruises over her face and other body parts, said the Indian police, adding that she might have been beaten to death by her in-laws over dowry.

Indian police have arrested one Bhim Bahardar Sahani of Jogbani Bhedayari-25, the deceased’s father-in-law Saini Bahardar, brother-in-law Arjun Bahardar and neighbour Shivananda Mukhiya in connection with the death. A search is ongoing to arrest the deceased’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law, they said. The deceased’s maternal house is located in Biratnagar-11.

Two arrested for sexual assault: 

Two people were also arrested for sexually assault during the festival – in Jhapa, a 40 year old man was arrested for indecently assaulting a 14 year old, and in Lalitpur, a 29 year old was arrested for sexually assaulting a 16 year old girl.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) still rampant:

Violence based on gender is a major component of the total number of violent incidents recorded in the nation. The trend has been continuing since a decade.

According to Nepal Monitors, between April 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019,  GBV and disputes of personal nature continued to be the leading cause of violent deaths killing 40 people. Disputes of personal nature came a close second with  31 fatalities. During the same period, sexual assault was the most common form of GBV with 212 ‘recorded’ incidents.

Note: The artwork in the cover picture is the intellectual property of Kurchi Dasgupta, an Indian painter based in Kathmandu, Nepal and has been reprinted with permission. 

Title of work: Durga Inverted

 Date of work: 2015

 Format Size: 41 x 53.5 inches

Medium: Oil on canvas +  stitched canvas

Description: This is a take on the goddess Durga, who is celebrated in a week-long festival every year in West Bengal, and is found in myths across South Asia. Fair-skinned and conventionally pretty, she is a protector of good against evil. This piece superimposes the image of a tribal, marginalised woman on an image of Durga as was painted by Ravi Verma and raises questions about the state’s on-going criminalization of tribal women fighting for their land, community and livelihood in the jungles of India.

Share this post:

Leave a Reply