Nandini Bhowmik is setting an example by not doing Kanyadaan during marriage procession, usually where girl’s parents do Kanyadaan of her girl and give hand to the bridegroom’s hand as ‘daan.’
We have always seen people saying that we will do our daughter’s Kanyadaan and will be relaxed forever as if they are a kind of debt to them, even if we are progressing day by day but these kind of things are still present in patriarchal society which is so inherent that we don’t even realise when we become victim of that.
This lady from West Bengal is the first Hindu priestess who is not same as other priests in India, she doesn’t perform Kanyadaan process during marriage because she thinks it is regression to the society.
She said while talking to The New Indian Express that
“I do not perform kanyadaan as I consider the practice in which women are treated as commodities regressive. I try to keep the rituals short and simple, and complete the entire programme within an hour.”
She is Professor at Jadavpur University, Kolkata and even involved in 10 other drama groups, instead of busy schedule she wants to make a mark in society and want to show people that this is not just a man’s job.
Bhowmik recites Sanskrit shlokas in Hindi and English so that bride and groom can recite easily and understand them, having Rabindra Sangit playing in the background.
As mentioned in Times of India she said that
I have heard so many male priests reciting mantras wrong. At a friend’s wedding officiated by Nandini and her friends last year, I was instantly drawn to the way the Sanskrit lines were vividly explained in English and Bengali.
40 marriages in past 10 years have been done by her, where she preferred to do inter-caste, inter-religion, inter-ethnicity marriages, she even performed rituals in her’s own daughter marriage, donates most of her earnings to an Orphanage in Odisha.
(Inputs from The New Indian Express)