I had been in Sabarimala debate when it began about two years back. I had written at that time that Sabarimala is not an issue of gender justice but an excuse to attack Hindu traditions and had famous fights with the famous TV anchor. Now when it came back, I was generally not invited, probably due to my vehement logical opposition to case for breaking Sabarimala traditions. However, yesterday’s violence gave a couple of TVs a chance to invite me and probably shame Hindus. Two debates in Hindi and English persuaded me to write this Sabarimala issue for dummies in simple words, to clear the confusion created by so-called secularists and liberals. It is a take-off.
1. Basic error in looking at India through monochromatic western world view. Western philosophy built on Biblical/ Abrahamic world view that tries to look at philosophical issues on black and white follower of the shepherd or fallen, of believer or non-believer/ kafir.
2. Hindus are not governed by one book – one prophet or son idea. They are truly pluralist. Hindu dharma is a republic of faith, each Hindu has full right to follow any God or Goddess or create. He or she wont’ be treated as an apostate. Abrahamics claim God created human in his own image. (It’s a different matter then why would he create defective human beings?) Hindus create Gods in their own image or as per their inclination.
3. Thus, if a Hindu doesn’t like a God he or she will not worship that God but will worship or follow a God or Goddess that he or she likes. There is no force either way. They won’t be ex-communicated or treated as ‘fallen’ or ‘kafir’. A follower of Abrahamic religions has no such liberty.
4. There is Kumari Amman temple that doesn’t allow male devotees. Hindus in many regions have festival to celebrate commencement of age of puberty of girls. Kamakhya temple in Assam as special festival for menstruating Goddess, when men are not allowed.
5. There is no logic in me visiting Bhagwan Ayyappa if I don’t believe he is a Brahmachari. For me there is another Ayyappa temple where Ayyappa is a family married man! I won’t barge into his abode if I find him discriminatory. After all, visiting temple is not like going for a picnic.
6. Comparing Triple Talaq with Sabarimala is wrong equivalence. Triple Talaq (as per orthodox Islamic scholars) is sanctioned by Quran and or Prophet. (Though reformist scholars counter this argument forcefully, but I don’t want to get into that argument in this edition). Similarly, Catholic Church can never have a woman bishop or Pope. Clear. Period. No Hindu scripture has disallowed women from taking up any religious position. If there were some distortions in last 1000 years, Hindus have themselves broken those barriers.
7. No primary Hindu dharmic shastras have sanctioned entry or non-entry in a temple. These are all local traditions of individual regions or communities. Infact, even most abused Manusmriti says, if you don’t respect women, even God will leave your land. Sabarimala is a matter of choice as noted above Triple Talaq is not.
8. If at all one tries to find equivalence for Triple Talaq it is in law against dowry, child marriage or sati. (Though Sati was not uniformly Hindu tradition ever. It was prevalent to some extent only in Bengal region). Not many Hindus can really recall any satis from their own family tree, I am sure. If anyone has, let us know. Yes, Hindus were cruel to widow. All such distortions in customs lost their relevance over time or they are being modified or reformed by Hindu society through law or self reformist movements.
9. Sabarimala is one out of lakhs of temples that disallows women of certain age due to the nature of the presiding deity, just as men are not allowed in a few temples. But, women are banned in all mosques in Islam. (Majaar is not considered valid in puritan Islam, so entry of women has no significance). They are opposed if they try to lead namaz recital. Women in Church hierarchy have secondary status.
10.Communists claim to be implementing Supreme Court ruling. It is illuminating that they have been rapped on the knuckles by Kerala HC as late as November 2018 for failing to implement its ruling between two warring Christian sects, though it is purely property matter, citing law and order. It was slammed again for not implementing its order on removing flex board hoardings. HC rapped Communist government for creating a police state environment in the name of implementing its Sabarimala verdict. All these are recent strictures.
11.It wanted a confrontation hence used brute force against peaceful satyagrahis during this entire three month period. Put 1000s in jails, put cases against them, more than 1400 were put behind bar just for highly peaceful Ayyappan Jyothi, because it was hugely successful.
12.Communists in urge to create division and violence got entry of two of its cadre with deceit – telling devotees they were transgender (Hijada in Malayalee, allowed in Sabarimala) and brought them with police in mufti in an ambulance. They were taken from backdoor and whisked away in police van. How was it a devotee visit if it was pure fraud and deceit? It was outright attempt to outrage Hindus and insult them.
13.Communist cadres killed a devotee with stone pelting yesterday. Thus, onus of violence is totally on Communists for this ruckus to provoke them so they could use force to crush them.
Bottom line is Communists are out to break up Sabarimala traditions. Their putting non-believers in Devoswam Boards and forcing the temple trust to stand by Communist government indicates same insidious policy. Sabarimala devotion is holding Kerala Hindus together, where there is no caste or any other discrimination. They know the day they can break Hindu faith, Breaking India forces can have a free run, like it was done in Kashmir valley. These same alleged constitution lovers support people openly who speak of ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’ and fight for them in courts. I am sure that our Hindu brethren will not be fooled.