Sabrimala- Fanaticism of All Kinds

Eight hundred years, and no more counting, a cherished tradition or a patriarchal mind set or  celibacy of deity or the male ego, know it by whatever name you like, is shattered. Its ready to slip into the league of long forgotten, now irrelevant traditions. There are many in this league and this one is newest amongst them. Women of menstruating age have now started praying at Sabrimala, where lord Ayyappa neither banned nor has allowed women  praying to him, the eternal celibate had first woman praying to him in sanctum sanctorum of shrine of Sabrimala, little after eight hundred years.


The lordships who sit on high pedestal, in habit of being addressed as lords several times in a single sentence, perhaps will lay first claim to breaking the tradition. But, their claim, unlike their judgement, which perhaps one day will attain finality, will never attain finality. Even if it tends to do so we must stop it. A regulated faith becomes rigid, much more rigid than the tradition in question is. Faith is beyond the concept of law, rather it flourishes in absence of any regulation. It flourishes only when the followers of faith initiate change. The apex court should have recused itself from giving this impugned judgement. Let those in habit of getting their egos inflated hundreds of times a day not decide how we will practice our faith.

Two women who made it to the shrine in pitch dark will also lay claim to breaking the tradition. Indeed they deserve applause. But, for eight hundred years none dared, none protested, if at all there was any resistance to this tradition, it was never seen. Why did they need clutches of law to climb the hill where Lord Ayyappa resides. Its regressive. The end did not justify means. Why name calling now? Why criticise tradition now? Why protests now? Just because, perhaps, by protesting, name calling and criticising traditions you win a badge of a liberal, with pseudo being silent.

Women praying at Sabrimala is a tale of series of fault lines. Faulting parties being, the society, the Lordships, the women and the priests.

Priests resisted women of menstruating age from visiting the shrine on pretext that Lord Ayyappa is an eternal celibate. Perhaps they obliquely suggested the Lord might lose celibacy with women entering his abode. Now that two women made it there is Ayyappa no more a celibate? If he is or he is not a celibate any more makes no difference. What had to be done has been done.

Sabrimala today stands closed for 2 days. The temple is being purified. The resistance to women’s entry to Sabrimala was never about impurity which women might cause, then why purification. Resistance was based on protecting celibacy of Ayyappa. Celibacy can’t be restored by any means, for sure.

The priests are as myopic as the Lordships were along with two women entering the shrine.  What lordships did was fanaticism of judiciary, what women have done is fanaticism for the sake of glory and what the priests are doing is fanaticism of inverted faith.

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