NOT EVERY EXCLUSION IS DISCRIMINATION
Updated: Dec 12, 2020
DYUTI DIXIT, I Year of B.A.,LL.B, from Lucknow University
Heard a lot about sati pratha, widow remarriage culture, Nirbhya case, UP Hathras case and many more. Now, what’s common in them. No doubt Assault… Assault that too only against women. Shreds of evidence show that since 1829(beginning of sati pratha) or even earlier, till today November 2020, women have faced and are still facing many atrocities, cruelty and discrimination and, no doubt, there is really an urgent need to voice for their rights. But at the very same point, we also need to draw a line between WHAT’S RIGHT AND WHAT’S WRONG. Making my point more clear. I am actually talking about the infamous “SABARIMALA ISSUE". Actually, this issue is more like a-
CONTROVERSY BETWEEN RELIGIOUS FAITH AND GENDER DISCRIMINATION
NOW, WHERE COMES THE PROBLEM?
The Sabarimala is one of the largest annual pilgrimage sites in the world with an estimate of over 40-50 million devotees visiting every year. But the problem that arises here is that this huge quantity excludes women. WOMEN AGED BETWEEN 10-50 YEAR. For me, it is not a real problem; rather, it is deliberately made a problem by some people who are craving for FAKE LIMELIGHT.
So first of all, let me clear my side (being a girl that too aged between 10-50 years) strictly stand with the temple’s rituals and respect its culture and oppose the honourable supreme court’s September 2018 verdict. Now I will further try to make my point clear.
TRUTH VS MYTH
Feminists, activists, media and even other women who knocked the supreme court’s door to allow women enter the premises of the temple, I guess they themselves first of all need to know about the rituals and practices of the temple. Because for them it is easy to do rallies but difficult to understand someone’s culture. Now 50% or even more of the population connect this ban by temple authorities with MENSTRUATION only. But the correct reasoning is actually beyond that, which is somewhere lost behind such concocted stories made by media.
Here we see, feminists shouting that Sabrimala Temple(following Hinduism culture) is discriminating, and it considers women impure and therefore not allowing women to enter the premises. All their logics are completely absurd and obviously irrational. Because I guess we all know that HINDUISM is that religion which WORSHIPS WOMEN IN THE FORM OF DEVI. And even CELEBRATES DEVI’S MENSTRUATION, a living example is THE KAMAKHYA TEMPLE of ASSAM. In fact, men are also not allowed to visit this temple. Now looking at the present scenario, I feel they should also be protesting. Moreover, there are also South Indian villages which celebrate girt’s first menstruation. So here we can conclude that HINDUISM NEITHER SHY AWAY NOR DISCRIMINATE WOMEN BASED ON THEIR BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES…
RATIONALE REASONING BEHIND THESE 40 YEARS OF WAIT
Now arises the question that if this menstruation is not the reason, then why are they not allowed to enter the temple. I would explain this under 3 aspects –
1. RELIGIOUS REASONING
2. SCIENTIFIC REASONING
3. CONSTITUTIONAL REASONING
As per Hindu theology, in Sabarimala temple DEITY AYYAPPA, son of HARIHARAN (lord Mahavishnu in Mohini’s avatar and Lord Shiva), is worshipped as the NAISHTIKA BRAHMCHAARI. He is also called HINDU GOD OF GROWTH and is believed to be residing inside the temple in a living form. Now that is the main reason behind the ban. HOW?
First of all, let’s understand who is NAISHTIK BRAHMCHARI.
As per YAJNAVALKYA SMRITI -Someone who takes a vow to remain a celebrates till his death is considered a Naisthtik Brahmchari. Also, there are two primary requirements—
A NAISHTIK BRAHMCHARI’S BODY SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO STRESS EXTREME INDRIYA NIGRAHA OR SENSE CONTROL MUST BE PRACTICED
Now here, the first requirement is simple, and I will focus on the second one which is control of the sense organs-
Sensory organs that need to be controlled are eyes, ears, mouth, sin, hand, legs, excretory and reproductive organs and mind. Now it is well known that sense control involves control of the actual performance of activities by sense organs and also avoiding any thought that could corrupt mind. Since a naishtik brahmachari has been explicitly ordered to undertake extreme measures, in order to avoid deviation of mind towards procreation as also to keep reproductive organs under control, and so a naishtik brahmachari is required to stay away from opposite gender who are in the age conducive to procreation.
And since Lord AYYAPPA is considered a NAISHTIK BRAHMCHARI, I feel we should respect his vow as well as preserve the temple’s practices and rituals
For devotees of science…
For those doing rallies and campaigns to grant women access to the temple. If you don’t believe in the culture. It’s fine. If you don’t believe in religion, then it's also fine. So for them. This restriction is also based on scientific reasoning. now that’s how?
Please try visiting temples situated at MOUNT OMINE, JAPAN Or MOUNT ATHOS, GREECE. There is a complete ban on not only women but female animals as well. WHY? Because these temples are situated above 5000 feet, various researches and studies proof that- HIGH ALTITUDE CAUSE NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON FEMALE FERTILITY.
Now how this research is related to the current issue?
The Sabrimala temple is situated at an altitude of 4,134 feet. Moreover, one of the most important rituals of this temple is MANDALA POOJA, which happens on the concluding day of 41 days long austerity observed by devotees of Lord Ayyappa. Also, it included climbing of 18 hills in the same time period in which one of the hills is the KAPPILLA HILL situated at 6660 feet altitude, climbing which by women in a reproductively active stage (between 10-50 years of age) can cause short term or long term side-effects. And ironically, here we see women themselves protesting against it. There are many more scientific reasons associated with this ban as it has been very well described in a book— “WOMEN AND SABARIMALA-THE SCIENCE BEHIND RESTRICTIONS”
Written by a famous scholar SINU JOSEPH. And in this book, she strongly believes that disturbing the restrictions placed on the entry of women can cause an unprecedented rise in menstrual and reproductive disorders.
For constitution lovers, just want to say that these RESTRICTIONS ARE EXCLUSIVELY JUSTIFIED AS PER LAW. Because as per article 25 of the Indian Constitution-
“FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND FREE PROFESSION, PRACTICE AND PROPAGATION OF RELIGION IS SUBJECT TO PUBLIC ORDER, MORALITY AND HEALTH”.
And as I have already described, it adversely affects a woman’s health. This ban stands completely justified. IN FACT, I BELIEVE IT’S NOT A BAN RATHER. This IS AN ARRANGEMENT TO KEEP WOMWN AWAY FROM THEIR OWN HARM, AND THUS THIS TEMPLE IS ENSURING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO HEATH AS WELL.
Moreover, honourable Supreme court’s interference in this issue is itself not justified. Because unless public order or public morality is harmed, the Supreme Court cannot change the fundamental basis of any religion. And if preserving one’s culture and safeguarding a woman’s fundamental right to health is against public morality, I really have nothing to say!!
A BIT MORE AWARE, A BIT MORE CONSCIOUS!
The current scenario feels like a Feminist stepping inside a boy’s college and shouting that girls have the right to education..we want admission here only. this college is discriminating and should allow girls to take admission here only. For them, just one QUESTION—IS THIS THE ONLY COLLEGE? If you really want to study, go to a girls college or you have co-eds as well. Similarly, in this case, I want to ask…IS THIS THE ONLY LORD AYYAPPAN TEMPLE IN KERALA? OBVIOUSLY NO, THERE ARE MANY MORE TEMPLES. THEN, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO WORSHIP LORD AYYAPPA THEN KINDLY VISIT THEM.
I feel like these media and feminists are the same people who change their path when a cat crosses their way or stop from stepping out if someone sneezes. For them, their superstitions are more valuable than someone’s religious beliefs. And this is nothing but just a way of increasing TRP. And by going against them, I am not at all trying to promote misogyny. Instead, I feel we should be protesting against issues like TRIPPLE TALAAK which are really harmful to women.
In the end, just one request to people, neither believe me nor these fake people rather before arriving at any conclusion, just get to know the history and logic behind every culture. This was completely my thinking based on my research with no intention to offend anyone!!