An online campaign called #ReadyToWait started in Kerala two days ago in support of the restriction that refuses entry to women of reproductive age to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. A temple has its own traditions, customs and changing age old practices in the name of liberalism will meet resistance for sure. This is what the women supporters are saying through #ReadyToWait.
Answering @Kuvalayamala‘s call to join the #ReadyToWait campaign https://t.co/LpadTzC5GF pic.twitter.com/1Yfj7b1EpP
— Neha Srivastava (@neha_aks) August 30, 2016
Devotees coming out with #ReadyToWait declaration.
Women don’t intend to allow Atheism win over Bhakti #Sabarimala pic.twitter.com/nTSXz0heTD
— Anjali George (@Kuvalayamala) August 29, 2016
My bhakthi is not selfish. #readytowait for Sabarimala Darshan. @Kuvalayamala @mohandastg @Swamy39 @TimesNow pic.twitter.com/KN1DBXABki — Padma Pillai (@lotophagus) August 29, 2016
I respect my traditions, therefore will never visit Shabarimala before the right time for me.Feminists shld leave us alone #ReadyToWait
— Deepthi Menon (@deep_ekm) August 28, 2016
These women say that they are ready to wait till they come out of the reproductive age bracket to enter the shrine. A culture is built on local traditions, customs and practices that continue to trickle down from centuries, and messing with these is a big no no for these supporters. Some have gone as far as asking “feminists” to leave them alone, while others are terming this call to lift the ban as an act of atheism.
Also read: Bhopal Jain temples ban women in jeans. Seriously, how dangerous can denim pants be?
We have to realise that the argument is not about challenging a belief, but challenging the non-existence choice. A simple choice is an act of empowerment that allows an individual to speak up. A basic human right which should be given to each and every individual. This is not a battle questioning God or religion, they are still intact, feminists are not here to shatter your belief in your God, they are here to give you a voice where even apparently God couldn’t allow it.
Also read: “Women who enter Shani temples will invite rape” says Shankaracharya Swaroopanand
This is not to say that women who enter the temple are any less religious than those who don’t. It should be a choice (after knowing rituals and traditions) if women want to visit the shrine or not, it should be a choice if women want to wear a bikini or a burkha. Often in the race of fighting for equality, we focus so much on what we’re NOT getting and make that as our default demand, that we forget we are standing up for the possibility of having an option. We might as well be living in the times when blinded faith outed rationality. Remember when Galileo was banned and jailed by the Church for his views. I’m not saying this is the same, but I guess I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t any different. Challenge an authority and this is the kind of rebuff you are bound to get.
Feminists, misunderstood yet again.
Feature Image Credit: jfwonline.com