Saturday, 16 January 2016

Indian Women Vs Religious Entities in India

Indian religious outfits and media, along with believers are on a roll aided with heated arguments from past few weeks about the sanctity for allowing entry of women in to the prestigious Sabarimala temple based on court observations. We have been fed with media analysis and different religious verbal jugglery from last couple of weeks. I think we have to approach this matter with sense than emotion.Religion is such a volatile issue in India, which has actually benefited the political class to cling on to power, at the time of a value crisis. Religious misunderstandings can act as a catalyst to an educated youth, which can easily trigger a chain reaction in a negative way, even now in India.

I was also confused until my father has shown me this news which has come in a Malayalam news paper about Thiruvabharanam procession from Pandalam palace to Sabarimala.

The major highlights of the news were the following.
1) Some of the royal family members of Pandalam palace are impure because of the death of a royal family member.
2) The rituals are slightly changed because of the death of the royal family member.
3) There wont be any public display of Thiruvabharanam (Ornaments believed to be worn by Lord Ayyappa).
4) There will be a Pooja in the morning to deal with impurity.
5) There are some detailing about the timing of all the rituals performed.

The interesting aspect which has caught my attention was that even though the Thiruvabharanam tradition continues for a considerable amount of time with out any changes, the rituals changed now because of some unforeseen circumstances. So there are options  available for all type of  circumstances with the religious polymaths and clerics. All religions are doing these type of changes in rituals, at the time of unanticipated events. So the arguments suggesting the inability to change the existing traditions are not sensible.

Human beings created religions, to gratify the Gods of the respective community. Gods never created any religions. We have to remember the saying that "To err is human, but to forgive is divine". Human beings have created rituals and religious laws as per their understanding and intelligence, which is not endorsed error free. Great religious scholars always proclaimed that no body can meet 100% knowledge on any subject, since one lifetime is not enough for the same. The generations acquire their knowledge from their ancestors, so that they can do further studies on the subject and take it to next level. The understanding of the persons who gains knowledge from the predecessor is very important, since there can be misinterpretations and disability to apply the same. It purely depends on the receiver's intellectual level. So we are not in a place to prove anything, only because its been a custom from ancient ages, even if we have documentary proof. The interpretations can be wrong and impractical along with metamorphosis in thought process and way of living.

We are in a democratic set up with a set of political and legal experts formulated our constitution and its prerogative based on their knowledge, and citizens of India approved the same and followed since 1947. No body will argue that in a democratic set up, Judiciary has final decision making power. But there were many changes in constitutional and judicial laws over a periods of time. I will quote an example. All Indians stood united for changing juvenile laws recently after Nirbhaya incident, even though the constitution wont allow maximum penalty to a juvenile. The constitutional law for juvenile justice started to shape up back in 1850s. The law makers made the laws as per the character and deeds of juveniles at that point of time. The lawmakers of 1850 were not able to imagine a juvenile, committing a heinous crime as done in Nirbhaya case. So the thought process and social life was absolutely opposite. We realized recently that, there is a change required in the law with out which many innocents will suffer. Don't even think that, I am comparing a heinous crime with some sacred beliefs. I just want to illustrate that none of the traditions or laws are permanent. It has to be revised as per transmutation of times, so that it will be for the benefit of humanity.

All the religions has shown their arrogance and ego, when a person questioned authenticity of their doctrines. Giordano Bruno burned to death and Galileo Galilee confined to house arrest for questioning catholic doctrines in the ancient ages.Polygamy and veiling of faces of women as per Muslim doctrines along with illogical restrictions on women formulated in ancient times, need proper corrections as per the time. Moreover all these religions formulated their laws, protocols and traditions, in a male dominated era, which wont make any sense in the current epoch.

We are in a period, where so many political and citizen uprisings are happening to implement gender equality. Human beings assigned gender, caste and religion, not gods. The traditional contradictions lies predominantly in interpretation based on intelligence level of a person. The nationals, who developed Judiciary are fighting against the same, for some religious beliefs and religions which nobody has any proof to show, apart from lame justifications. The irony is that the same people are fighting for women equality also. We have imposed the need of evidences in a Judicial system, to prove an argument in a court. People get agitated, when the same court asked for any documentary proof for banning women inside the Shrine. Whether we have any decision-making problems?

All the religions has to accept the fact that, there is a change in contemplation and way of living and religious believers should stop being stooges of political outfits and misinterpreted religious scholars. Many people defended the ban of women in Sabarimala Shrine saying that Lord Ayyappa is a celibate, but there are women who are celibate. Take the example of any religion, the brides of Gods are always the celibate women. So its not Lord Ayyappa, but our sagacity should replace emotions before jumping the guns as instructed by our religious leaders.

Almighty created human beings as one and not based on colour and gender. We have to actually serve the purpose. Religious places are for people to worship and pray their religious beliefs. God has given us brain and intelligence. You also think before proclaiming things. Moreover, Indians have a history of abolishing the unwanted for betterment of mankind. The day we think sense will be our real day of intellectual independence.

If you support woman equality, allow them in all types of religious places irrespective of religion. Even the nature is Mother nature, which we inhabit. If Motherhood is divine, the why not women?

I love my mother and the same with God also. So lets accept changes and don't overreact. All religions has to change their traditions and customs as per time cycle, otherwise these beliefs will bite the dust. There are no religions above the happiness, peace and harmony of our society. The actual success of a religion lies in imparting their believers with divine qualities like forgiveness and a kind hear, with a place to pray with out gender discriminations

With Prayer