GOD IS OF EVERYONE. GOD IS FOR EVERYONE.

Yes, that is ideally the ideal position – but something that has been a deep rooted ‘glass ceiling’ phenomenon universally – in almost every religion with different hues – in every society – and in every country – including India.

We worship women. In Hinduism, Goddess Shakti is revered like anything. And it doesn’t end here. And I am sure every religion has its own female deities.

Yet we deny women the basic right – the right to the equality in the places of worship.

And that’s why the Shani Shingnapur protest by a group of women activists demanding their right to worship in the innermost sanctum of the temple, barred for women, is important – away from the debates of being politically motivated or being a mere publicity stunt.

Because they pull our attention to this very important discrimination prevailing in our society that we have so subtly legitimized – again in the name of religion – and have efficiently co-opted women to perpetuate such practices – out of fear psychosis – or emotional bondage – or cultural blackmail.

Well, our scriptures say God is for everyone. They say he knows what is in our conscious and he comes to everyone. They say our faith is as important for God as God is for us.

And when we worship our deities of both genders with equal faith and devotion, why do we discriminate between their devotees based on their genders?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SHANI SHINGAPUR STANDOFF TOMORROW: SOME RANDOM QUESTIONS

1. Why men fear women presence in innermost religious circles?

2. Is religion not the most primitive tool to maintain male domination in the society?

3. Will tomorrow be a bitter standoff at the Shani temple in Shingnapur village in the Ahmednagar district of Maharastra?

4. Is it just another political spectacle or a sincere part of a the lager fight in gender discrimination?

5. Women activists are planning to storm the Shani Shingnapur temple tomorrow and women of the village and the nearby villages are preparing to stop them. There are reports of multi-layered security around the sanctum sanctorum and if we go by them, the planned break in by the protesting group of women look unlikely. And when the issue is already in the Supreme Court, why this haste?

6. There are many taboos humiliating and restricting women rights in our society and this is one of them – a practice that is socially acceptable that even majority of women endorse it. In fact, here in this case, women are prepared to block women. Is confrontation a logical way to break such a taboo then?

7. It is not restricted to any particular religion. In fact, women have been historically denied their religious rights – and the problem is acute in religions like Islam or Hinduism or in different tribal sects. So what should be the road ahead to work on such massive problems that sweep societies across countries?

8. Or there cannot be any laid-out/defined strategy. The problem will be taken care of by progresses made in civilizations or by evolutionary changes?

9. But then, aren’t we already overdoing it? We have commoditized women for long, making them second class citizens. That was the case even in the advanced societies like the US not so long ago. In fact, the most powerful nation in the world is yet to have a woman president.

10. So, what should be the priority then – while intensifying the fight for the just demand of religious equality – a multi-pronged approach involving legal, social and political measures?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/