Friday, April 8, 2016

A significant victory!

A 400 year tradition of not allowing women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra came to an end today when Pushpak Kewadkar and Priyanka Jagtap performed a puja on the deity around 1700h!

And the flip side......

As the duo offered milk and oil to the idol a few women, mostly villagers, wept over seeing the end of "a tradition that they were proud of". 

The Run up.

Trupti Desai-led Bhumata Mahila Brigade has been spearheading the campaign for entry of female devotees in Shani Shingnapur temple and the other shrines of the state for the last six months. The Bombay High Court's ruling of 30 Mar was the follow through as it had removed all restrictions.

My take.

I was always under the impression that similar restrictions that were in place in many shrines had strong reasons backed with sound logic. I must hasten to add that my upbringing also made me believe that one had to have implicit faith in religious beliefs and questioning them was neither desirable nor warranted.

But questioning the 'why, what and how' of every aspect that we come across in life is a healthy way to understand its meaning so that corrective measures/additions/alterations can be inculcated to make it free of any loophole!


Celebration at having brought justice to the women devotees is fine but care needs to be taken not to celebrate it as a victory over the 'traditionalists' because that can foment trouble for no rhyme or reason.   

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