The far-left propaganda media outlet, The Telegraph, is now coming for our religious rituals. It is now running a campaign to alter the words of the Puspanjali offered during Durga Pujo. It’s asking its readers to chant ‘Santanan Dehi’ instead of ‘Putran Dehi’ during prayers.
The Telegraph is under the impression that Putran Dehi conveys a desire to be gifted a male child. However, in reality, the word in Sanskrit signifies a child, regardless of his or her gender. As Nityanand Misra, author in the field of Hinduism and Indology, explains in the Swarajya Mag, “The words ‘putrān dehi’ means both “give [us] sons” and “give [us] daughters and sons”. To understand this, we need to know the principle of ‘ekaśeṣa’ in Sanskrit grammar, by which the masculine dual can also stand for a female and a male, and the masculine plural can also stand for females and males collectively. In other words, the masculine dual in Sanskrit also serves as ‘mixed dual’ (a female and a male) and the masculine plural also serves as a ‘mixed plural’ (females and males).”
The Telegraph, in its campaign against Putran Dehi, has found support from equally harebrained progressives. Ananda Gupta, the chairperson of the 56-year-old Camden puja, told The Telegraph, “We learnt about the campaign quite late but took no time to come on board. The initiative to seek a child irrespective of gender from the goddess finds synergy with our theme of Tomar Durga, Amar Durga, which encompasses not only the affluent daughters but also the impoverished ones who jump into the river post-immersion to salvage coins or bamboo structures or seek food in dustbins. We are welcoming the LGBTQ community to our puja.”
“The mantra dates back to an age when people wanted sons rather than daughters. But we are not in that age any more,” said Parimal Dey, president of Beliaghata 33 No. Palli Bashi Brinda. “Ma-er pujo korbo ar chaibo sudhu chhele? (We’d worship the Mother Goddess but seek only son)?” said Sandipan Banerjee, puja committee convener of Behala Nutan Dal. “There is no harm if the mantra is changed,” said Bappaditya Mukherjee, who has been conducting the puja for 19 years according to the Devipuran.
The extremely little regard and the contempt the progressives reserve for traditions is revealed in the manner in which they tinker and twist essential Mantras and modes of worship without even bothering to understand the fundamentals of it. Changing the words of the prayer will have no impact at all in the manner in which society functions. The entire charade is merely an exercise in virtue-signalling.
If the progressives are hell-bent on destroying a prayer even as benign as ‘Putran Dehi’ which does not refer to a child of a particular gender at all, one wonders what else they want to destroy. It won’t take them too long to remove ‘Santanan Dehi’ from the prayer altogether as they will argue that wishing for a child itself is deeply sexist and misogynistic as the burden of pregnancy always falls on women.
The only effect changing the words will ever have is that a tradition and a mode of worship that has survived centuries and millennia will be lost to the vagaries of modernity. It also highlights that in many ways, progressivism is even more dangerous to Hindu traditions and culture than Radical Islam itself. Traditions and modes of worship that survived the atrocities of the Radical Islam empires during the ancient and the medieval era are now facing the threat of extinction due to the unhindered march of progressivism.