I Am Not An Atheist, But I Refuse To Believe In Religions That Belittle Women

Posted by Ridhi Soni in Sexism And Patriarchy, Society
November 13, 2017

I am a Hindu Punjabi girl born and bought up in a family where every morning I wake to bhajans playing on our DVD player. My mom is the one who plays them. I know about many bhajans as I’ve had to listen to them since childhood but I am still not able to sing them.  Somehow, my subconscious mind doesn’t allow me to do that.

So, today, I am here to talk about why when people say, “jai mata di” in front of me, I am not able to repeat it enthusiastically with them. Mind you, I am not an atheist and I genuinely believe in the positive energy that surrounds us.

I am not a person who visits temples very often. I do like to visit gurudwaras though, because there, I see people genuinely serving humanity by serving food in langers. Actually, there are various aspects of Hindu mythology that disturb me and because of this, I believe them to be myths. For instance, in Ramayana, the fact that Rama exiled his own wife when she was pregnant; or how lord Krishna convinced Draupadi to accept five husbands and she had to renew her virginity every year; even the ras lila of lord Krishna, in which he would steal the clothes of women in his village while they were taking a bath and then force them to ask him to return their clothes.

These stories show the position women have in our society. This, precisely, is what makes me believe that they are just myths written by a man who didn’t give women much thought. In the Hindu religion, it is said that Lord Krishna was a lord who came to earth to show people the right path. So should I consider his conversations with Draupadi as showing her the right path and should we be learning from it?

Further, we are made to worship so many different types of gods. Why not worship and help mankind? Why is it that the money we donate in a temple is just used up in expanding the temple and to keep it running but not to help the poor?

I know there are various religious trusts that are working for the welfare of people but why are people not themselves encouraged to work for the betterment of humankind and leave their status symbol aside? Why is it that only people who sing bhajans, attend kirtans and observe different kinds of fast are known as being religious? They are not actually helping humankind in any way.

Don’t observe fast every other day just for so and so reason. If you really want to keep a fast for keeping a diet, follow a prescribed diet plan. Religious fasts are not good diet plans for the body as they only dehydrate the body.

In conclusion, I would urge people to believe in God as a positive energy that surrounds us and be a good human being by serving mankind, rather than serving the images of gods made in temples.

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