Bhumaata brigade broke 400 years old tradition by entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shignapur temple yesterday. Bhumaata brigade has been trying hard to achieve this goal since long and has emerged victorious at last by doing so. Their point was that women should also be allowed to enter in the sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha of a temple where women are not allowed and should be equally allowed to worship god as men have been doing. They want women to get equal rights and get equal status as men in the society which is a very brave, good, and positive mission.
Women can obviously do that because god has created both men and women and is equally benevolent to all and thus all have right to worship god. But I don’t know why I can see very little of progressive attitude in this issue and what is more evident to me is the tumultuous situation being created everywhere by this attitude. I will tell why I think so.
First of all, let me be very clear that I do believe in women empowerment and I think women should be allowed to worship god like any other person allowed and it’s good for the better society. But the problem comes in the anarchy being prevailed all this while. I today saw news about the women of Nalgonda district of Telangana district of India. These women walk for kilometers to get water for their basic necessities and carry utensils-carrying in many cases 50 liters of water-over their head.
This is not the case in Nalgonda only but in many parts of the country like Rajasthan (which is known to be such a place for women even in movies, books and even paintings), and even Nandgaon of Mathura where I went to visit the temple and witnessed women carrying earthen pots over their head carrying water.
Now my point is that how women would be empowered just by entering temples by force and extreme chaos and anarchy when so many women in so many parts of the country are fighting PER DAY to get water which is so easily available to I think everyone reading this article. Women of Nalgonda said that pain in their neck, backbone, head and other joints of the body is very common among them because of carrying such heavy utensils and pots and it’s extremely painful for them but the importance of water and its scarcity in their area and availability in their homes has been forcing them to do so since long.
Now can anyone tell me what betterment in life and uplift would women realize by “entering the temples where they are not allowed” by force when their counterparts are facing such crisis on diurnal basis. Is it extremely progressive for women to enter temples forcefully and is it satisfactory for them to see their counterparts facing such calamities? In a country where farmers have been committing suicide at such a huge scale and cases of dowry and sanitation and rural toilets are in mind of women and they really want something to be done in these areas; isn’t it a waste of power, energy and potential to channelize them in such a way and not in the areas concerning water facilities for women, rural toilets or toilets in rural houses for them, or something for the dowry system?
If they believe in god so much then don’t they think they should be helpful for other women of the country who are living in extremely bad conditions? Shouldn’t they do anything for the women of areas like Marathwada or Karnataka-areas which are facing extreme drought?
Women indeed have the rights to worship god equally as men do. They have all the rights to enter the sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha of temples but is it that important that women who can do something for other women are doing it with such force and struggle when they can do a lot with such energy which can make lives of so many other females all over the country much better? Would it be wrong if I say that issues calling for immediate attention and action such as that one of Nalgonda are in need of such enthusiastic women leaders more than this case of entering the garbhagriha of the temples? If these women of brigade have such power that they can challenge the 400 years old tradition and the government then I just wonder what they can do for their counterparts all over the country.
Anyways, this is good news for women who wished to enter Shani Shignapur since long time and I congratulate them over their victory but my heart weeps when I see women of so many areas of the country in pain. Thank you.