Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Challenging age-old traditional practices

The Supreme Court of India will decide if women have the right to enter the Sabarimala Temple reveals the fact that the question of an age-old traditional ban on young women from entering the temple is being misinterpreted as an example of discrimination or injustice. Taking a swipe at religious customs and temple entry restrictions is violating women’s constitutional rights. Women of any religion should be allowed to practice their religion without any coercion. Restriction on entry of women in any temple is “unfair”. One would find that women are more religious, often more deeply than their male counterparts. Women have been learning the Vedas and also performing religious practices. Prayers and worship are mind-related, not body-related. Hence, it is natural for women devotees to seek permission for worship at the temple.

The Sabarimala temple, the pilgrimage and the ritual are held sacred by millions of ardent devotees. It stated that many religions impose restrictions on women due to menstruation, which is perceived as ‘unclean or embarrassing’. Being clean or unclean is my business. Hindu women are not restricted to offer prayers but its our culture that tell us what is the procedure to worship each different god in a diverse manner. Women have to believe that menstruation has nothing to do with purity. Education is one way to create awareness. Right of ‘Darshan’ in any temple of the country is a fundamental right of the citizens of India irrespective of gender, caste or creed.

Vinod C. Dixit

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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