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Arguments against women entry[തിരുത്തുക]

Some women choose to not enter Sabarimala believing that it would be an insult to Malikappurathamma's love and sacrifice.[1] Others believe that Ayyappan himself placed restrictions on women entering the temple because he wanted to be celibate, and the presence of women of reproductive age group would distract him from this cause.[2][3][4] Some argue that menstruating women could instead go to Attukal pongala, a temple festival also known as 'women's Sabarimala'[5], instead of wanting to go to Sabarimala. Some believe in the taboo that menstruation is impure (thereby making women of menstruating age also impure), and that it is a sin to visit a Hindu god while they are impure.[6] Others simply cite that age-old traditions should be continued to be practiced, regardless of their implications.[7] Some people have pointed out the practical difficulties for women in climbing Sabarimala. The Sabarimala temple is situated on the top of a hill surrounded by mountains and dense forests, which some regard as physically challenging to women to navigate. An official of Sabarimala has pointed out that there will be lack of adequate sanitation facilities for women, thus making their journey difficult.[8] Hospital facilities are also sparse and women could be harassed on their way up the Sabarimala mountain.[8] Some argue that women will 'defile temple premises', and 'distract' the pilgrims who follow a 41-day period of strict abstinence from sex.[9] One lawyer has argued that the deity Ayyappan should be considered as a person, and should be given the Constitutional right to privacy under Article 21, thus banning women of menstruating age from visiting him per his will.[10] A female cardiologist pointed out that there are 'scientific reasons' for banning menstruating women from temples, although her arguments were later dismissed as being pseudoscientific.[11][unreliable source?][12][13] The Travancore Dewaswom Board president said that allowing women to the temple will lead to 'immoral activities' and turn the place into 'a spot for sex tourism like Thailand'.[14][15]

Arguments in favour of women entry[തിരുത്തുക]

Those in favour of allowing women entry to Sabarimala argue that menstruation is not impure, and that women have equal right to enter the temple.[16] Some pointed out that women are allowed to enter other temples of Ayyappan, so that the exception for Sabarimala is unusual and inconsistent[17]. A frequent criticism is that claims that women are impure, based on the physiological process of menstruation, is gender discrimination.[4]

According to the historian, Rajan Gurukkal, there is "neither ritual sanctity nor scientific justification" for the argument of menstrual pollution. He notes that the shrine was originally a "cult spot" for a tribal deity, Ayyanar of local forest dwellers before it became a place of worship for Ayyappa in the 15th century. Unlike traditional Hindu beliefs that menstruation is impure, the tribals considered it to be auspicious and a symbol of fertility. They thronged to the temple along with their women and children of all ages until the 1960s. Gurukkal also notes that there is documented evidence of young savarna women making their way into the temple till the 1980s.[18]

The chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, said that his party (LDF) has always stood for gender equality and therefore will provide facilities and protection for women pilgrims to Sabarimala.[19]

Failed attempts[തിരുത്തുക]

In October, when Sabarimala was opened for pilgrims for the first time since the Supreme Court verdict, protests were staged at the Nilakkal and Pamba base camps. Many women journalists were assaulted by the protesters and Police had to resort to a lathi charge to disperse them.[20][21] The protesters forced a 40-year old woman from Andhra Pradesh to stop her journey to Sabarimala at Pamba.[22][23] Two women of menstruating age attempted to enter the temple on 19 October 2018 but were blocked by protesters about 100 metres away from the sanctum sanctorum. They returned after the priest warned that he would close the sanctum sanctorum if they were to attempt to climb the 18 sacred steps leading to the deity.[24] A 46-year old woman who claimed that "her body was full of divine power from Ayyappa motivating her to climb Sabarimala" was asked to return after the police denied her protection.[25] On 20 October 2018, one woman journalist and the president of Kerala Dalit Mahila Federation also had to return without reaching the deity due to protests.[26]

Protests[തിരുത്തുക]

The Bharatiya Janata Party called for a hartal in Kerala state to deter women between the age of 10 and 50 from worshipping at Sabarimala.[27] The Indian National Congress also launched a protest and demanded a review petition against the Supreme Court's verdict.[28] The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, held “RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) driven upper caste religious fanatics” responsible for the violent agitation to undermine the universal right of women of all ages to worship at Sabarimala.[29] Rahul Easwar, a member of the family of Sabarimala priests and the leader of Ayyappa Dharma Sena, was arrested for inciting violence and rioting near the Sabarimala temple complex. He was denied bail on the grounds that he could return to Sabarimala to incite further trouble.[30][31] Malayalam actor Kollam Thulasi said that women who enter Sabarimala temple should be ripped in half.[32][33] An FIR was registered against him for his deliberate act to outrage the religious feelings and for challenging the dignity of women.[34]

Over 3000 people were arrested and around 500 cases were registered at various police stations across Kerala in relation with the protests including hartal related violence, since the Supreme court verdict came.[35]

External links[തിരുത്തുക]

  • Acevedo, Deepa Das (5 June 2015). "Pause for Thought". Economic and Political Weekly (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). 53 (43).
  • Gilles Tarabout (2015). "Religious Uncertainty, Astrology and the Courts in South India". എന്നതിൽ Berti, Daniella; Good, Anthony; Tarabout, Gilles (eds.). Of Doubt and Proof. Legal and Ritual Practices of Judgmen. Ashgate. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-1-4724-3451-7.

References[തിരുത്തുക]

  1. ഉദ്ധരിച്ചതിൽ പിഴവ്: അസാധുവായ <ref> ടാഗ്; legendNDTV എന്ന അവലംബങ്ങൾക്ക് ടെക്സ്റ്റ് ഒന്നും കൊടുത്തിട്ടില്ല.
  2. Harikrishnan, Charmy (4 September 2016). "Why women should have the right to enter Sabarimala". The Economic Times. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  3. ഉദ്ധരിച്ചതിൽ പിഴവ്: അസാധുവായ <ref> ടാഗ്; firstpostlegend എന്ന അവലംബങ്ങൾക്ക് ടെക്സ്റ്റ് ഒന്നും കൊടുത്തിട്ടില്ല.
  4. 4.0 4.1 S, Yogesh (2018-10-14). "Celibacy of Ayyappa is an Excuse to Oppress Women: NewsClick". NewsClick (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  5. "Thousands of women offer 'Pongala' at Attukal Bhagavathy temple". The Hindu (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). 2 March 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  6. SV, Vikas (2018-09-27). "Why are menstruating women not allowed in Sabarimala Temple? Centuries old beliefs and customs" (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). oneindia. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  7. "Sabarimala row: If women's humanity is not our culture, we should make it so". The News Minute. 6 November 2016. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Kochi: Practical impediments for women to trek at Sabarimala". Deccan Chronicle (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). 29 September 2018.
  9. ഉദ്ധരിച്ചതിൽ പിഴവ്: അസാധുവായ <ref> ടാഗ്; indiatoday1995 എന്ന അവലംബങ്ങൾക്ക് ടെക്സ്റ്റ് ഒന്നും കൊടുത്തിട്ടില്ല.
  10. Tripathi, Shishir. "A lawyer for Lord Ayyappa: Advocate Sai Deepak turns heads in SC arguing for Sabarimala deity's right to celibacy - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  11. "Lady doctor's video about women's entry to Sabarimala goes viral - Kaumudiglobal : DailyHunt". DailyHunt (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  12. "Menstruation is not dirty, women are not impure: Campaign to counter myths in Kerala". The News Minute. 8 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  13. Kayloor, Beena (18 October 2018). "How the Sabarimala issue has promoted period shaming among young girls". The News Minute. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  14. Mishra, Anand (20 October 2018). "'Advocating women's entry at Sabarimala non-believers'". Deccan Herald (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). Deccan Herald. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 22 October 2018.
  15. Philip, Shaju (14 October 2017). "Don't want to turn Sabarimala temple into Thailand, says TDB chairman". The Indian Express. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 22 October 2018.
  16. Cris (8 October 2018). "Menstruation is not dirty, women are not impure: Campaign to counter myths in Kerala". The News Minute. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  17. "The god who bars women from his temple". BBC News. 19 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  18. Gurukkal 2018.
  19. "Women have the same right to worship as men: Pinarayi Vijayan on Sabarimala issue". India Today (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  20. "Sabarimala row: Devotees attack journalists, stop women from approaching temple". Hindustan Times. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 17 October 2018.
  21. "Sabarimala: Mobs attack women near India Hindu temple". BBC. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 17 October 2018.
  22. "Andhra woman returns without Sabarimala darshan as protests mount". dna. DNA. 17 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 26 October 2018.
  23. "Woman, Family Abandon Sabarimala Trek Out Of Fear, Say No Cops At Temple". NDTV.com. NDTV. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 26 October 2018.
  24. "Sabarimala protests: Women descend the hill without darshan following protests". The Hindu. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 19 October 2018.
  25. "Another woman reaches Pamba to enter Sabarimala, goes back as cops deny protection". The News Minute. 19 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  26. M.K., Nidheesh (20 October 2018). "Who is Manju, the Dalit woman devotee who wants to enter Sabarimala?". livemint.com. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  27. "Sabarimala hartal turns violent, KSRTC buses wrecked". The Hindu (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). 18 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  28. "Congress launches protest, demands review petition against Sabarimala verdict" (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). Hindustan Times. 5 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 30 October 2018.
  29. "Pinarayi blames 'RSS-backed upper caste religious fanatics' for Sabarimala violence". The Hindu (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). 18 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  30. "Rahul Easwar, face of 'Save Sabarimala' campaign, on a fast in prison". The Hindu (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). 20 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  31. "Court denied bail to Rahul Easwar". The Hindu (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). 20 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  32. Philip, Shaju (13 October 2018). "Tear in two all women who enter Sabarimala, says actor Kollam Thulasi as Kerala BJP president listens". The Indian Express. Indian Express. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 26 October 2018.
  33. "Sabarimala comment: Kollam Thulasi booked, actor apologises". The Week (ഭാഷ: ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്). ശേഖരിച്ചത് 26 October 2018.
  34. "Actor Kollam Thulasi booked for controversial remarks on women entering Sabarimala". The News Minute. 15 October 2018. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 20 October 2018.
  35. "Total 3,345 Sabarimala protestors arrested till now". NDTV.

Sources[തിരുത്തുക]