When will we stop treating women in India less human?
New Delhi, Sep 28: Women are impure while mensuration so should not be allowed to enter the temple and the other argument that security was main concern as Ayappa temple at Sabrimala was to be reached after crossing a thick jungle but the Supreme Court has taken a rational view allowing women to enter Lord Ayappa temple of Sabrimala in Kerala. There have been other similar court decisions like allowing women to enter Shani temple at Signapur in Maharashra and Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai but still at many places women are subject to discrimination by not being allowed their constitutional and civic right.
Not only the constitution but civil society as well don't allow any kind of subjugation to any section of society whether on the ground of cast, creed or sex. But women have always been looked down upon in the religious practice of every religion even Parsies where a women married outside her community was not allowed to perform last rites of her father. But this is not the case with men. Looking down upon any women goes against the basic tenets of that particular religion. No religion should go down to such narrow perspective about women.
If we talk about Hindu tradition not only Lord Ayappa who is considered to be a celibate but Lord Hanuman too is considered to be celibate but there is no such restriction on the entry of Lord Hanuman temple that any women between 10 and 50 year will not be visiting his temple. There is no universal rule or guideline regarding this rather they are made by the people interpreting religious texts of the particular religion. There is self restrain and women avoid visiting temple on those 4-5 days but there is also a point to ponder about that these restrictions are centuries old when managing mensuration by a women was an arduous task. So to avoid embarrassment and hygiene, these measure could have been suggested which with the passing time became rules. But there is a need to understand that they have become redundant now.
Going by the same purity and impurity logic, what will happen to Kamakhya temple of Guwahati where mensuration goddess is worshiped. There is no idol of goddess there in Kamakhya Temple and as legends have it 51 pieces of Goddess Sati's body scattered across the Indian subcontinent. These places are called Shakti Peethas and are dedicated to various goddesses. Kamarupa (form of desire) is the region in which the yoni (female sex organ) is said to have fallen to earth, and the Kamakhya temple is said to have been built on this spot. Going by the same logic, men should not be allowed in Kamakhya temple.
There is another temple of Kartikeya at Pehowa in Kurukshetra district of Haryana where as per legends Yudhisthir Performed Shradh Karma after Mahabharata War was over. Women are strictly prohibited there. There are many such legends as there is a Maihar Devi temple in Madhya Pradesh where no one is allowed to stay at night. But that does not harm or affect anyone's sentiment.
Religious shrines of every religion have such restrictions as Jama Masjid in Delhi does not allow entry of women after sunset prayers. At Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Kerala women cannot enter temple vaults though women devotees can worship the deity, but they are not allowed to venture inside the temple chambers. Temple was in controversy when a lady from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) attempted to enter the restricted area to create an inventory of the treasures kept over there. It is said that women who dare to visit the Lord Kartikeya Temple of Pushkar will be cursed and not blessed.
Similarly Patbausi Satra temple in Assam women are barred from entering in order to ensure that the temple does not become impure. Temple authorities believed that women who are menstruating are unclean. In 2010, J B Patnaik - the then Governor of Assam - entered the temple with some women in an attempt to break the said rule. At the Jain temples of Guna, in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, women in western attire such as tops and jeans are barred from entering the temple by the community leaders. Can anyone explain the logic for having such a view when we live a country that has Khajuraho Temple, Konark Temple and Ajanta Caves.
Still some people don't come to terms with the law as at Nizamuddin Dargah of New Delhi women are still barred from entering the sanctum. They are only permitted till the periphery. The authorities at this dargah have stated quite clearly that even though the Haji Ali Dargah of Mumbai may have now been forced to open the doors of its sanctum to women, it is no mood to comply. They say that the rule applies to all women including those close to authorities and officials.
In one such example at the Bhavani Deeksha Mandapam in Vijayawada, Jayanthi Vimala was honored with the post of head priest after her father passed away. Since her father did not have any sons, she was appointed as the Vamsa Paramparya Archaka or hereditary priest by Andhra Pradesh Government in 1990. In spite of her position, she is not allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the temple as is the case with every other lady.
So the logic given by authorities are more of ignorance and mindset of refusing to change with the passing time. It is more of a matter of convenience, greed and ignorance and sooner we overcome them he better.