-Dr Hilda Raja
The allegation of Kancha Ilaiah that 'India’s right wing is quick to condemn Talibani patriarchy but they outrage over the calling out of Brahminical patriarchy' is misstated and calls for condemnation
It seems to be the fashion for all so-called activists to line up on the Left as intellectuals and go hammer and throngs against the Right wing making it look outdated and outrageously set in centuries-old citadels of inward growth. Kancha Ilaiah has compared Taliban patriarchy to Brahminical patriarchy. Rather the other way round. He has rushed to the defence of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and a few SC activists who held a poster which read ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy” and justified it by comparing Brahminical patriarchy to Talibani patriarchy.
One can understand the bias which Kancha Ilahiah has exposed throughout. It may be due to his worldview his caste, his own experience. Hence I am not going to counter his bias but only state clearly and emphatically that this bias has seeped through all his worldview perspective-his opposition and his prejudice against Hindu upper castes. Otherwise, how can one explain the author’s comparison which is off the mark
Misreading the Context
Kanch Ilaiah wants us to see the poster against the backdrop of Sabarimala temple and the happenings there. He claims that the RSS/BJP is supporting the anti-women agitation. To my little knowledge, I know women who are not in the RSS/BJP fold are also against the entry of women during the menstruating age. It is not surprising that Left-oriented and so-called activists drag in the RSS/BJP because they find it convenient to hit at these organisations with any stick that comes handy. It is also imperative that they think they alone are liberators of women and have the right worldview perspective-Equality for all.
Kancha Ilaiah claims that the RSS/BJP is supporting the anti-women agitation. To my little knowledge, I know women who are not in the RSS/BJP fold are also against the entry of women during the menstruating age. It is not surprising that Left-oriented and so-called activists drag in the RSS/BJP because they find it convenient to hit at these organisations with any stick that comes handy
In this respect, the author has raised the most absurd query- why men who have semen stored within can go to Sabarimala temple for worship and not women at the menstruating ages. I am not a medical professional-just a wife, a mother and a grandmother. I do not belong to the RSS/BJP, and I am not a Brahmin-not even a Hindu and do not follow the Brahminical patriarchy. We have been taught that menstruating happens when the womb sheds its accumulated blood vessels with which it had prepared as a nest in the womb to receive the fertilised ovum.
Once the fertilised ovum is not received at the regulated period, the womb sheds its accumulated ‘nest ‘ made of blood vessels. This is bad blood and clots and at times even stinks. Ilaiah compares this with the stored semen. Does the ‘stored’ semen in the men’s bodies if get once a month unused-useless and does it eject itself out naturally? Does it stink? Do the men use sanitary napkins to prevent their clothes from getting stained and smelly? I am at a loss to understand this. If menstruating aged women are allowed to enter Sabarimala from the viewpoint of cleanliness and sanitation, it will be heaped of soiled bloodstained smelly rags and napkins that will be strewed all the path up the hill, and the devotees must wade through these. Is will be a sight to see such heaps of this trash all the way to the gates of the temple. How is this aspect of cleanliness –leave alone sanctity be upheld. In most of the families(not Brahmins) I know no woman during her menstruation will even offer puja-cook. She is taken care of and has to rest- in common parlance ‘ outdoors’ This for the sheer aspect of cleanliness. Where does the question of equality and inequality arise?
Why is Church Patriarchy Missing?
The Catholic Church has what is called the ‘purification’ for the woman who goes to the church the first time after her delivery. She is not allowed to enter the church but stay out till the priest purifies with some prayers and holy water. Will the SC ban such practices in the same of equality because the man is perpetually pure so he can enter the church as and when he likes. A woman is a woman, and a man is a man. Both are complementary and supplementary. That is nature’s great gift. How can equality mean standardisation and equality in everything? It is a lopsided view of understanding equality. Equality means to respect and to uphold the views of the other and to give space for self-actualisation.
The Catholic Church has what is called the ‘purification’ for the woman who goes to the church the first time after her delivery. She is not allowed to enter the church but stay out till the priest purifies with some prayers and holy water
Not to look down and exploit another. But in today’s world of so-called ‘intellectuals’ and left-oriented activists equality means the hills must become valleys, and the valleys must be levelled as plateaus. Can one imagine such a barren and beauty lost world? This is to miss the sight of the beauty of humanity and especially of the family which is the cornerstone of humanity and civilisation. It is in this respect that everyone wants to look as ‘progressive’ shouts and screams for equality. Then let first things be first-Is our Constitution upholding ‘Equality’ when it upholds Minority Rights? Why should some people be given special rights?
I agree that centuries of deprivation and oppression calls for remedial measures but for how long. Has it proved effective or made the people ghettoed within fences of caste and creed and language and region. It has lent itself to divisive politics. The political netas have played havoc with this, and more and more people have become backwards and are deprived according to the demands each section puts forth. Positive discrimination is no more positive but only a vote garnering tool. Today everyone wants a piece of the cake by caste. Is that equality? So all are backward in India-almost all- except the Brahmins. Our puppet former PM MM Singh eloquently voiced this discrimination when he stated that the Minorities have the first right to the resources of the country. The great learned economist was and is a jaundiced vision.
Equality does not mean a man is a woman and a woman a man. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. In this respect even the SC rushes to be seen as an upholder of progressive thinking Interference in almost everything-Same sex marriages will be next. So a ‘family’ we will teach the children is a man and a man. Where does the child come in-through adoption I suppose? Then who is the ‘mother’-a man who is the father a man. This is being progressive thinking and different oriented sexual and love orientation. The family has withstood the ups and down of all civilisations from time immemorial. Traditions and beliefs need to be respected and cannot be taken by the judiciary and law applied. It is all not there in their law books and no matter how brainy a judge is he/she cannot interfere with faith and beliefs unless faith blatantly oppresses and denies rights of another.
Equality does not mean a man is a woman and a woman a man. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. In this respect even the SC rushes to be seen as an upholder of progressive thinking Interference in almost everything-Same sex marriages will be next
The Judiciary is quick to look only at the majority religion. Will it dare to pass a law that any Catholic woman who goes through the required training be appointed to the priesthood? It will not dare. Similarly, will the Muslims allow women to lead the prayers and enter the mosque etc.? So when the judiciary looks into equality why is this directed only to the majority religion. Should it not only look at the nation as a whole and with unprejudiced eyes? We have an SC judge today who is a CHRISTIAN-There are Christian churches in Kerala which abet the giving and taking of dowry because the church gets a per cent of it. Has dowry not be banned? Will the SC come down heavily on the giver and the receiver? There was the SC judgement some years ago when Mary Roy won the case for an equal inheritance for both sons and daughters. Is this law being followed? So the majority religion comes under scrutiny not only by the judiciary but also by the so-called left-wing activists and ‘intellectuals’.
Back to Sabarimala-no court can break religious beliefs and these are based just not only on equality and inequality but on sound rational. Moreover, there is a lag between the passing of such laws and the social and religious sensitivity of the people. As far as I know, women of all castes opposed the entry. In fact, why did one of the SC judges a woman give a dissenting judgement? Was she biased or was she against equality for women? Why should everything be seen against a political background? Like now the number of PILs and the reopening of former cases makes it look that the SC has become a forum for political fights. I hope and pray that the CJI and his team avoid being seen as abetting this. After all the Judges are human too and they can err but I am sure they will uphold by the grace of God Justice –that unshakable foundation OF HUMANITY’s SURVIVAL. I hope that Sabarimala will be an eye-opener to the SC judges that religious beliefs are deep-rooted and etched in everybody’s hearts. It is not easy to uproot and erase them through judgments. Only awareness and education can. At the same time, I look upon the SC to uphold all that is of human value –one such is Equality. In the right spirit -irrespective of majority-Minority religious adherence. Interference in one alone makes it biased and thus a dichotomy of Equality. For the SC must not only serve justice but must also be seen as just. It cannot follow the perception of Ilaiah's comparison of two patriarchies.