As the #Sabarimala and Shani Shingnapur controversy heats up, where women ( young and all in case of the latter ) are not allowed to enter/touch the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, because they are supposedly 'impure' compared to men, as they have menstruation ( or bad luck will befall ); I was reminded of this article I wrote couple of months ago.
I was reading this particular news article today; wherein it reported, that, even the HC refuses to take a stand on the issue of entry into the Haji Ali dargah, that is strictly barred for women, and I shrugged to myself. We all know how restricted the muslim society is especially for its women, so it didn't surprise me much. Although, I have been lucky enough to have visited the restricted premises, much before it became a stricter norm. And why just muslim, we see discrimination in Christianity too; although, its not as much in religious places as it is visible in the authorities-build up - we've never seen a female Pope now, have we?
Anyway, before we criticise the other communities for being so discriminatory to the women-folk, lets take a look into our own first, sticking strictly to the religious places ( as there's countless discriminations in almost every sphere of life/society ). Recently, I was in Trimbakeshwar, near Nashik ( for Kumbh Mela'15 ), and to my surprise I learnt, entry into the main 'garbh-griha' as it is called, of the main temple is totally banned for women. Whoa...I had thought. Not just that, there's some more smaller temples up the Brahmagiri hills, behind the Trimbakeshwar temple, that is also off-limits for women. It does make me sit and think about the patriarchal society we live in, that is still so much rooted in the past. Some women activists had once tried to enter the Trimbak temple forcibly, but was stopped and didn't succeed much. I wonder, why it got to that in the first place :o
I do understand, in the distant past, due to the fabric our society was built upon, men always got the advantages and privileges compared to women, but in this day and age, shouldn't it be changing? Not that I see.
I haven't researched about other places much, but I'm sure similar restricted zones for women, in holy places, may surely be existing there as well. It saddens me, how women are treated by the men-folk almost like untouchables; and truth be told, I think, it is much due to the fault of the women themselves. Had they not taught a child 'the sense equality', right from its birth ( since a mother - a female, is the one who gives birth and is closest to a child ), such discrimination wouldn't have taken such deep roots, that are practically unremovable now. May better sense prevail for future generations.
PS: My trip to the Nashik Kumbh Mela'15 was more for the spectacle that it is, rather than any religious purpose. FYI, I'm quite Agnostic in beliefs. Read my other blog, for my entire Kumbh experience.