Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Women and temple

Some have challenged ban on entry of females in the age group of 10-50 to Sabarimala temple. Feminists say it is discrimination. Devotees say it is differentiation. For women there is a separate temple where men are not allowed.
On 26/1/2016 a group of women wanted to enter Shani Shingnapur temple. Local women did not want to allow them. Police detained women who wanted to enter. The temple has a long tradition of not allowing women. Some say it is a 400 years old tradition. It is said at platform men are also not allowed except those who pay 11,000 or 11,111 rupees and at a certain time. The protest gave publicity to Bhoomata Brigade.
One does not have to go to a temple to pray. One can pray at home. Most temples allow entry to women. Local women have no problem. Outside women want entry.
Those who support women’s entry into Shani Shingnapur temple quote Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees Right to Equality. Those who oppose quote Article 25 which guarantees Right to Freedom of Religion.
Some see politics behind this movement. They say it is a tactic to divert attention from Rohit Vemula’s death. Some say it is an attempt by Maharashtra Government to take over the temple.
Some Muslim women want entry to Haji Ali dargah. They claim entry was allowed till 2011. There was no tradition of not allowing women. Bombay High Court did not decide the case.
Women claim gender discrimination.
There is discrimination against men. In city buses seats are reserved for women. In local bodies 33% or 50% seats are reserved for women. Women are free to contest 100% of seats. Men can contest on 67% or 50% of seats. For entry into army men have to cover certain distance in 9 minutes, women in 14 minutes.
For some TV anchors it was an opportunity to attack different religions.
Over the years there have been changes in religious practices. Some traditions have come to an end.
Some say we are in the 21st century. They should know everything is not right in this century. This century saw emergence of ISIS, sale of captured women and girls. It saw kidnappings of more than 200 girls and their forcible conversion to Islam by Boko Haram in Nigeria. This century has seen rapes and murders of many women and girls. This century saw Nidhi Razdan and Anjali Doshi wearing head scarves in London. Shweta Rajpal Kohli wore burkha in Saudi Arabia and went out accompanied by a male. Bombay Municipal Corporation ordered covering of mannequins displaying lingerie. In Italy nude statues in a museum were covered for the visit of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Updated: January 30, 2016 — 7:38 am

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  1. It’s a pity that as the civilisation moves ahead on the wings of science and technology, religions keep crawling backward on superstition and ignorance.

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