Holding on to culture #FridayReflections

With news channels,  especially the Malayalam channels which are going overboard broadcasting the goings-on in the Sabarimala temple,  I am sad that people or rather one set of devotees are attacking another set of devotees.  The only difference being one set of devotee is female in the child bearing age group and the other set of male devotee is also surprisingly in the child bearing age group.  Yet,  the females are considered of less worth and not allowed to enter a temple.  This despite the hardship the female faces in bearing a child,  also the integrity with which she follows all rituals,  shouldn’t she be allowed to meet her maker.   This is also despite a Supreme Court order which declares that there should be no discrimination among devotees.  It is sadder that the political parties have spotted an opportunity to benefit from this whole whatabouttery.

But, if we want to hold on to old traditions,  there are so many I would like to go back to.  In earlier days,  when women were on their periods,  they were barred from entering the kitchen and doing any household work for seven days.  How I wish,  we could return to this state!  But then,  who will cook the food for the men in a nuclear family setup.  No wonder, this tradition lay on the wayside long ago.

Another tradition I would like to bring back is the matriarchical system in Kerala where the woman was the head of the family.   Property passed to the females in the family and the men were to find females having good worth.  But the men were in a haste to see to it that this rule is changed and the SC laws were followed.  After all, it is property.   I am disappointed that the Kerala women let go of this.

Kerala women practiced polyandry.  Now,  why did the women give this up when we had the rights to choose not just one husband,  but leave him to find a better husband?  There was no negativity or taboo attached to it,  no question of so-called honor killings.  Surely,  we women should have held on to this.

This is also not the first struggle in Sabarimala.  Read about it in this link.  – https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/WBOzF7tMn27vz5Vg0JmmtM/A-leap-of-faith-at-Sabarimala.html

A similar struggle happened in 1934 for the entry of Dalits in the temple.  At the time, similar arguments were placed and now to even think about such a struggle is seen as unnatural.  As the article states,  hopefully,  logic and reasoning and faith will prevail.  Soon, it will be common practice for women of all age groups to visit the temple and no one will ever remember that such a restriction ever existed.

Saranam Ayyappa.


You are invited to join the Friday Reflections linkup every Friday to share a good cup of tea and your reflections.



5 Comments Add yours

  1. The worse is disrespecting the Supreme Court ruling by bigots attacking women and this is a real shame with patriarchy gaining the upper hand!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obsessivemom says:

    Lata I am so glad you did this piece. I’ve been ever so conflicted on this issue. On one hand I wonder why woman would want to go to a temple where the Lord himself prohibits them, but then how do we really know what the God wants? Who’s to interpret that? Also, if like you said, people hadn’t rebelled against tradition we’d still be having Sati and Untouchability. I strongly believe that the strength of Hinduism lies in its capacity to incorporate change and we should never let go of that.


  3. shanayatales says:

    Honestly, this is one issue I am conflicted on. I don’t like the Supreme Court interfering in religious beliefs, especially because it’s shamelessly one-sided. BUT I do not really understand the bias on the basis of the gender either. That feels wrong. Not allowing entry based on gender. And the violence is just plain barbaric.


  4. Shalzzz says:

    To each his own, I’d say. But it is ridiculous attacking women who choose to visit the temple. That’s barbaric.


    1. Lata Sunil says:

      True. The men are really intimidating the women devotees. Seeing the children cry was bad.


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