Why people continue to follow age old norms where menstruating women are denied entry in some temples asks Mumbaikars.
Shani temple of Shingnapur, in Maharashtra holds supreme faith for many. People from all over the country visit this place to perform Puja by pouring oil on Shani Dev’s idol. In Hindu mythology, it is said that Hanumanji and Shani Dev are God following (Brahmacharya) and hence, woman are forbidden from touching their idols. Mumbaikars raised objections against temples denying entry to menstruating women. According to them, today women are at par with men in all fields and are playing a vital role in the nation’s progress then why people continue to follow age old norms where women is not allowed entry in some temples. They also wanted the government to intervene in this matter and frame legislations for removing gender based discriminations.
“Few days back, a woman forcefully performed Puja and it created ruckus. It became Breaking News for TV channels, naturally because this event had taken place in temple of Hindu faith!!! Various arguments in favour of and against were put forward and debated…It got me thinking.” said Madhvi Bhuta a volunteer of Bharatiya Janata party.
Dr Reena Jain said, “This is nothing but a symbol of a male dominated society. How can female be unclean? Are goddesses not worshiped in temple during mensuration? I think all the trusts and institutions governing religious places should be elected democratically. In this way, thoughts and ideas will not be imposed on masses. Why religion should be interpreted by only few people? Let us interpret it collectively.”
Amandeep Singh, Radio Jockey said, “I don’t know why such topics are grabbing headlines these days. Is this really an important topic to be discussed in a country were about 40 per cent of its citizens are illiterates, starving, underprivileged of proper medical care and proper toilets. Why this issue is blown out of proportion by media which is not going to fix all those issues that needs to be addressed immediately. We shouldn’t fall prey to these fruitless issues and should really grow up and try to ensure that everyone in this country sleeps with his stomach filled.”
Sweta Redij, an animation student said, “We are living in 21st century. Why menstruating women are denied permission to enter temples which only violates the right to equality. This might be the reason that India is not progressing at a faster pace. Anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar are killed.
“The recent incident which occurred at Shani Shingnapur was shocking. We are confident that this kind of campaign that began in 2000 will once and for all do away with the ban on women from entering temples. The legal case is now in its final stage and we are hopeful that the High Court delivers an amicable verdict,” said Milind Deshmukh, one of Dabholkar’s close associates.
“Women have been barred from climbing the platform for hundreds of years. This act was against the rituals that have been going on for years,” said Sayaram Bankar, a temple trustee, justifying the purification ceremony.
Shiv Sena MLC, Neelam Gorhe said, “When we raised the issue, our idea was that a devotee should not be discriminated on the basis of gender. Even our gods do not believe in it, then why should we? Women should also be allowed till the point men are allowed to access,”
Congress MLA from Solapur, Praniti Shinde said, “The women should be felicitated for doing what she did. I will raise this issue in the Winter session of Legislature, in Nagpur.”
“At a first glance, anything demeaning woman is to be condemned severely. Pujaris washed the temple and sanitised the surroundings because it had turned impious. How can any place or any substance or anybody turn inauspicious because it was touched by a woman? Weren’t all the Great Saints and Pujaris or even God born out of their mother’s womb and nurtured with her care? Hasn’t their mothers contributed in nurturing their souls? Our culture considers even the earth that we all thrive on, to be a mother figure. (Dharti Mata). We respect and bow to our nation as a mother figure..(Bharat Mata). Our entire, sensibility is based on Mother Nature!!” said Akshay Bhatt.