By Tanya Choudhary:
While many women today have rights to exercise our will, there are many women who are forcibly compelled to cry out their sorrows just for the sake of those ‘thakurs‘ -the so-called prestigious men of the society.
‘Rudaali‘ is one of such notorious orthodox practices where mourning is their job. They are hired as professional mourners after the death of a male relative. These women express the grief of the family members and compel them to cry.
Why do they have to do this? It is just because these were born as rudaalis. They belong to the marginalised, lower caste section, who in the name of dowry, are sent to the courts of the thakurs as so-called ‘family members’ but in reality, they are treated no less than prostitutes. They live in different houses, alone, and with no families. Moreover if they give birth to a child of their own, the child can only carry the name of the mother and not the father. They are deprived of a father just because of the tag ‘rudaali’s child’. It is the oppressive treatment of the society’s superior feudal lords who take services in the name of their social status, that needs to be questioned.
I believe eyes are the reflection to our own stories. But what about those eyes covered in a black veil hiding even more darker stories in them and shedding out their wishes and dreams down their dusky cheeks for the sake of living so that these fake lords of society can purchase their tears.
Today in this developing era we are shadowing and outcasting these evils of the society.
As cited in the book “The Lost Generation”, the rudaalis say through their mournings, “Walking on foot even for a mile is not favoured, nor is the birth of a single daughter; A debt of one’s father is not favoured, so may God protect us from these misfortunes.” It is a misfortune to that girl who will be treated as a servant in that tender age of hers just because she was born to a Rudaali mother .
Left untouched by time, these women sing the real lament of a woman.