Journalist refers to ‘Urdhva Pundra’, a tilak as ‘vagina’, gets schooled on Hindu sect of Vaishnavism

Journalist Mitali Saran, who writes columns for NDTV among other media houses, yesterday referred to the ‘Urdhva Pundra’, the tilak worn by followers of the Hindu sect Vaishnavism to show they are devotees of Vishnu, as a vagina.

While my inner feminist says referring to anything as a vagina shouldn’t be considered an insult, the fact that Saran used vagina to condescendingly mock the tilak on BJP President Amit Shah’s forehead is a problem. It can be seen that she compared the tilak to a vagina to sort of ‘ruin it’ for the viewers by her subsequent replies.

Saran probably thought the tweet would act as a bait since most self-proclaimed liberals believe right wingers cringe whenever they hear the word vagina while forgetting that Hindus worship Shiva Lingam. She was shut up by Twitter users who took it upon themselves to educate her on symbolism in Hinduism.

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The Kamakhya temple mentioned above is a pilgrimage site in Assam where the deity, Kamakhya Devi is revered as ‘Bleeding Goddess’. It is believed that the ‘Garvagriha‘ or the sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the mythical womb and vagina of the Hindu goddess Shakti. Interestingly, every year during the month of Ashaad (June), the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya turns red. It is believed that the goddess ‘menstruates’ during this period.

This is not the first time self-proclaimed liberals have shown their obsession with a vagina. Swara Bhaskar, daughter of JNU professor for cinema studies and former censor board member Ira Bhasker, also showed her obsession with vagina during the release of the film Padmaavat.


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