These days I don’t watch news on TV. Not that I am not interested in what’s happening, but because it is so irritating to watch these low-IQ (Intelligent Quotient) and low-EQ (Emotional Quotient) journalists blabbering away in some pseudo-concerned tones and voices, exasperating and panting to report a bomb blast or a scandal, annoying or vexing the interviewee with abrupt interjections, and trying their best to use recently-learnt English words (to keep their jobs), that it started to bother my intelligence and emotions equally.
Anyway, waiting for the next soccer match, I had to while away some time and I surfed onto the news channels once again.
There was this Sagarika Ghosh on CNN-IBN, who is irritating most of the time, talking about some temple in
One funny thing about religion is that they have introduced a word called ‘sanctity’. In my life I have not abhorred a word more than this word- ‘sanctity’ (more about that later). There are certain places in temple where it is sacred, there are idols which are sacred, and there are few rituals and practices which are sacred. Any violation of these sacred things is a direct contravention of the religion which will displease the God. That’s how each religion and sect has collected its own set of sacred things.
Now, for whatever reason, Sabrimala and its god Ayyappa and its followers think that no women between certain ages (where they believe a woman menstruates and can attract men sexually ) should enter its premises. I am quite OK with it. It’s not like all temples in
I learnt to respect many idiosyncrasies of religions and live with them. I don’t go to many temples because I have no job there. I do go to certain old and historical temples because I like Indian Architecture and I take lot of pictures. Now, when I enter these temples I respect their sentiments. If they ask me to take off my chappals/shoes though the scorching heat has made the stone tiles to cause blisters, I put up with it. Why do I do that? Look, nobody forced me to enter these temples. I am free to go wherever I want in this country. But here’s a place that some people think is sacred and they have set certain rules. However funny these rules might sound to be, if I want to go in there to get a glimpse of this historic architecture I will have to obey the rules they set out. Therefore, I take off my chappals/shoes and walk in the scorching heat, enduring the pain, take my pictures, and run back. If ever they have a rule that I have to shave my head to enter, and if I am in no mood for shaving my head, I just turn back and do not enter. I have a choice to enter or not enter. It’s not like I am being discriminated against. It’s not like I am being targeted. It’s nothing to do with equal rights and it’s definitely nothing to do ‘marginalizing sacred feminine’ as Sagarika Ghosh would like us to believe.
Sagarika Ghosh, demeaningly and condescendingly asks this son/grandson of
And she (Sagarika Ghosh) continues to ask if this ban is against the rights of a modern woman and questions why some temples ban women. My response is simple. First, the concept of religion itself is a ridiculous concept and its rules are even more ludicrous. Second, if those rules do affect you as a woman, if they encroach upon your rights and if they discriminate you systematically, please fight it out and I will join your fight. But when almost all temples in
There is a temple in Orissa which organizes Rath Yatra pulled exclusively by women. It’s a tradition. The origins of most of these traditions are equally bizarre. Knowing these origins only quenches intellectual curiosity but doesn’t help you in dealing with it. May be, the men should fight for their right to pull this Rath and argue for ‘sacred masculine’. I am not sure where it would lead us. May be, back to cave man?