Breaking Barricades

Posted by Sumaiya Ali
April 8, 2017

Self-Published

A group of women led by activist Trupti Desai broke a longstanding tradition and entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani temple, which always barred the entry of women. The “temple entry” movement in Shani Shingnapur in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra marked an important chapter in women’s struggle for space.

Trupti Desai who is a gender-equality activist and the founder of Bhumata Brigade . Menstruation  is not an unclean thing. Even if the trustees of temple believe so, they can restrict women on those few days. Why punish women for their lifetime? ” said Trupti who led a similar movement in Kolhapur’s Mahalakshmi temple . “This is viewed as an effect of the increasing awareness and consciousness of the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. These movements raise certain questions of exclusion justified in the form of traditional religious practices connected with a constricted biological determinism of purity”  she added.

 

In Kerela’s  Sabrimala temple  female of menstrual age are restricted to enter inside. Women and children in Nashik representing the Swarajya Mahila Sanghatana, an organisation floated with the same objective of breaking the patriarchal bastion, were beaten up when they sought to enter the Trimbakeshwar temple last year on April 21.

 

A Supreme Court bench on 15 April,2016 questioned the logic for keeping women out of the Sabarimala hill temple in Kerala. The bench of  justices heard a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by non-profit body Indian Young Lawyers Association, looking for entry for all women and girls in the Sabarimala temple. Indira Jaising, appearing for Happy to Bleed, a non-profit, explained on how the ban is  discrimination against menstruating women. Nikita Azad,20 is the founder of the NGO Happy to Bleed “I have been active in women’s movement for three years in Punjab. Prayar Gopalakrishnan said that women will be allowed entry into temple when a machine is invented  to check if a  woman is menstruating or not. I was offended by his statement . I think that today, religion is nothing but a tool of oppression in the hands of state, using which, the state justifies its crimes, exploitation, and oppression. As far as patriarchy is concerned religion provides a strong shield to it.”

A 400-year-old ban preventing women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple was lifted when the Bombay High Court ruled on March 31 that women should not be denied entry into any temple.

Morever, not only in Hinduism but even Muslim women are not allowed to pray when they’re menstruating.  As per the rulings of Quran a woman is advised to abstain from praying during her periods. Not only prayer she is asked not to keep fasts as her body becomes weak during this time off the month due to bld loss.

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