I have been a mute spectator for past weeks after the verdict on the Sabarimala issue. Because I am not an expert in these. Neither I know the legality nor can fight for the reviews etc.
But I was born in India, in a very normal family. We had no intellectuals in our family. No elites. I grew up with other common kids and neighbours. We went to the temple and followed the traditions passed on from our parents.
We have been to the Sabarimala temple, and know how the traditions are followed. How we followed the Viradha thinking about the god. The pooja that happens under each devotee used to be celebrated as a big festival. One of the key factor in such pooja is the “Annadhanam”. Yes, offering food to anyone and everyone.
For the whole period of our Viradha, we are called not by our names, but by only one name – Swami. Irrespective of your age, you are called Swami. People fall to your feet. They believed that we are the Ayappas.
Without faith or belief, you are nothing. We began our first breath by belief. We believed our mother and accepted who was shown as our father. We have faith in them.
Same way, a belief about some traditions are deep in the blood.
I know for sure, that most of my sisters on the road fighting for the #ReadyToWait are in the same boat.
So, as a common citizen of this country, I thought of making my opinion count.
Our ancestors had plenty of practices with a purpose. Just because we do not know the reason we cannot simply block them as a superstition. Our western education and craze had exactly made us an English idiot. Someone rightly said, The more you learn, the more you become non-Indian.
No, do not jump as me terming anyone as anti-Indian or otherwise. The essence of the above statement is, the education we undergo is western. So obviously, the thought process does change our Indian value.
I remember reading an article about the stupidity of singing rhymes like “Rain rain go away”. Until I read that article I was also like you. What’s wrong in a kid singing a nice rhyme. But, this one is from the west, especially from the UK. And in here, you always have the rain.
You should always be with an umbrella when you go out. Remember those long umbrella and hat in those old English movies? Yes, it can be any time of the year. Hence that song suited there.
But in India where most the people & farmers waiting for rain, does this make sense? Does it mean rain really goes away? Definitely no. But what thought such schooling with seed in a kid’s mind? This I just an example. There are plenty that does not make kids appreciate the Indian values.
As long as we feel ashamed to be Indian, and the one following traditions are looked as an uneducated or uncivilized we are not going anywhere.
When I was a kid, I used to visit our villages in down south. People will talk about directions using terms like north/south/east & west. Slowly the urban crowds and so-called elites made them feel ashamed. Why? For not being educated to show direction using “straight”, “left” & “right”. Now we are really direction-less.
There are many values like this, including our habits – both food and toilet habits and health practice we have changed due to marketing from the west. Anyway, those are just the tip of the iceberg.
You all have seen Lady Gaga, have anyone seen ever a Lady Pope? Why?
Do you know not only in the Vatican, but there are also Churches in India that follows a strict dress code? Have you ever thought if so, why not any court come down heavily on those?
We have the sense to choose a dress code depending on the event or place of visit. We choose traditional styles for some marriages, party wear for receptions or other birthday functions etc.
But we will never agree or follow if that was requested in a Temple. Why such thoughts?
Yes, there are many temples & Mosques too with dress codes.
And such corrections or change in age-old tradition cannot happen without social awareness. We are such a country where even simple traffic rules are violated. How many genuinely wear the helmet or stop at red lights? What is needed is education and not mere enforcement.
When even such a small law cannot be enacted by brute force how can you expect to change an age-old tradition with a single signature? No law will be a success if it is not welcomed by the people whom the constitution believes to be protecting.
Some also equate practices like Sati with this tradition. Sati was mainly followed by the Indian queens and princess to save their honour from the brutalities of Mughals or foreigners. Slowly it became a practice among all in that civilization. Later, in Sati women was forced to die. Even they did not like it. And hence the whole society welcomed the change.
Here, what are we doing? We are forcing women to enter the temple. Government is brutally wanted to get some ladies into the temple. And the real devotees or the women for whom you think this law will help, they are on roads in millions saying #ReadyToWait
In a democracy, a constitution is for, by and for the people. So, if there are people who want to follow some traditions with pleasure & out of their own will, no court or government can push it to them.
In my opinion, courts should have restraint from such controversial cases. Not to forget, the sole woman Judge ion the bench of court that passed this judgment, dissented on this judgment.
Even if the supreme court has ruled such law, people would have kept quiet as they use to be all these years. Hindu women would have silently ignored this law and continued with their tradition. That is what they have been doing for past weeks with their campaign about #ReadyToWait.
There are 1000s of temples where everyone is allowed. Girls, boys, men, women and all. The whole episode is been projeted as though Indian temples are not allowing women to enter.
So once you see a sinister plan like what happened in the last few days, do you still want us to believe that it is for the good?
What is surprising is, no sensible people from other religions have voiced their opinion. I do not want to conclude that deep inside they are actually enjoying this drama. Maybe they are silent not to make this sound or turn into a communal issue. So, I would give them the benefit of doubt that they may be silent for a good reason.
Last, but not least. The whole point in enacting a law is to bring equality among people of different race, caste, and religion. But looking at the result of this law, it clearly shows that it only does more harm than good by pitching one against the other. So, whom are you trying to satisfy by this law?
God only can answer.
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.