Madhu Chopra Says Sindoor Is No Sign of Bondage, But Is it?
It looks like we love telling women what to wear, or shall we say, what not to wear.
Not just clothes, but also how prominently you wear sindoor after your wedding. But when you are PeeCee and are too busy taking on the world, it’s always nice when Mum takes on the style police.
On Twitter, Madhu Chopra, Priyanka Chopra’s mother, took down a sindoor shamer, who said that Chopra was showing double standards by sporting ‘sindoor’.
The tweet, which did not mention Chopra’s name, seemed to have a problem with how the Bollywood star, who calls herself a feminist, was now wearing mutthi bhar or generous amounts of sindoor.
Chopra’s mother wrote back saying that sindoor was no longer synonymous with ‘bondage’.
Madhu Chopra is also a producer and co-founded ‘Purple Pebble Productions’ with daughter Priyanka Chopra.
Is Sindoor Really Patriarchal?
Yes. Sindoor is a vermilion coloured powder that only married women wear. It’s purpose is said to be to differentiate married women from the unmarried ones. It signifies that no other man, apart from her husband, should cast his eyes on her.
Wearing the sindoor is also said to bring longevity to your husband, and a woman once widowed is expected to never wear it again. It is also a custom that is ‘part and parcel’ of the typical Hindu marriage rituals in which, a woman is literally 'sent’ from her father’s house to her husband’s house.
Outdated Custom or A ‘Woman’s Choice’?
Although, the symbolism of sindoor has patriarchal roots, women of the 21st century are using the tradition to carve out their own meaning from it.
Men have obviously never had to choose between wearing sindoor or not wearing it. There has never been any such ‘post marriage’ expectation from them. But a woman like Priyanka Chopra, is surely doing it at no one’s behest and entirely out of her own choice.
If we are trying to do away with the patriarchal setup of our society, shouldn’t we also then eliminate all the symbols that were once used to repress women?
But if women are choosing to use these ‘symbols’ to counter patriarchy, then it may not be as regressive as it is in theory, right?
Wearing it and making it your own, or rejecting it all together? What will you choose?