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Sabarimala judgement opens up pandora-box

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G Indira
I am Indira Garimella living in Hyderabad. I hold a Master’s Degree and M. Phil (in English) with M.Ed. I worked as PGT in English in Government run Residential Schools. I have been associated with Pragna Bharati, Hyderabad. I also worked as Associate Editor of Bharatiya Pragna, monthly magazine of Pragna Bharati in the past. I have been a keen observer of National Politics and also write letters and articles to the English and Telugu newspapers from time to time.

A lot of churning is taking place in the Hindu Society with the apex court’s entry into temple rituals in the name of Constitutional morality. In the Sabarimala case, the top court is getting unwelcome attention from all Hindus and many practising Hindus started questioning the wisdom of the judgement.

In the southern states, however infallible the judgement is as per the judiciary, it’s being made a butt of ridicule by all sections, even in wayside Inns and coffee-shops. Queries like, ‘is equality of gender taught only to Hindus in India? When the community itself is not in full cry, why is this new practice (of 10-50yeas women entry)?

When a fifty thousand Muslim women signed appealed against instant triple talaq, five different religious judges sat on the bench and scrupulously checked and guardedly gave a verdict, why this hurry burry in the case of Sabarimala? When it comes to Ayodhya -temple of nearly a century – old dispute, where petitioners also expired in due process, yet it is pending, not on priority to take up, though the people have been keen on the verdict. Both are related to Hindus. In Sabarimala case, Hindus, supposedly ancient nomadic tribes, are shown their place in the egalitarian world!

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There are many highly educated and eminent people in the Hindu Society. They’re all awe-struck by the judgement. In the five-bench judgement, four judges concurred and one woman judge differed. The learned woman judge, Indu Malhotra also quoted the related Articles of the Constitution. Should people presume that there’s an inherent dilemma in the Constitutional propriety? The inner conflicts, of late, in Central Investigator Bureau (CBI), are named CBI versus CBI and also ED versus ED in the media. If so, can Sabarimala be Constitutional morality versus Constitutional morality?

Hindus were codified long ago when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. Up to now, Muslim personal laws are not codified. They are left only because they’re in a minority. They are expected to join the mainstream and ask for a reform, then only the government has to take up, is the explanation. Why the same logic is not applied to Sabarimala? Assuming that Common Hindus have not evolved to that of the Constitutional morality envisioned by our founding fathers and should have put their verdict in abeyance for some time to come.

Does Constitutional morality say a man to marry four wives at a time? Are the Muslims not citizens of India? The Constitutional morality so sacrosanct to Hindus, won’t apply to minority religions ? Of course, they are all guarded by personal laws, which again our holy Constitution has given. Given till what time? As long as the creation existed? As long as the last man on the earth lived? In any case, the apex court, is not at fault. The Supreme Body has been reminding the government to bring in the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) from time to time. But the governments in place, have no verve to take up. But in the case of Sabarimala, related to Hindus, none comes to rescue.

A society needs prior preparation to take reformist measures. Top down injunctions would not work well. Sudden such shocks lead to shrivel. People are questioning the judicial outreach, they are questioning the other community religious rights vis-a-vis theirs? They have got every right to ask in a democracy. They need not play duplicity like their elected representatives, respecting the law on one-side, and taking the side of the people agitating on other.

There’s a fixation in the Sabarimala issue. If the Court budged a little on review petitions, that would set a precedent for more and more such bickers. If not, a common Hindu feels he and his tradition has been let down by the judicial verdict. Hinduism is all about traditions that have been practised from ages. There are high egalitarian spiritual virtues which unify all human beings in the Hindu religion and also ebullient pagan worships.

It has diversity along with inherent inner schisms between sects and sub-sects leading to unending dialogue. Probably that could be the reason d’etre for Shri Savarkar, the proponent of Hindutva, not going for religious kind of Hindutva but of a cultural one. Following suit, presumably, the RSS also is for cultural nationalism rather than a religious one.

Now, with a new petition, an interesting one, filed by Sanjeev K Kumar, Social activist & Director of an NGO Newman Foundation, in the High Court of New Delhi (if argued) there will be a shake-up in all communities of the county regarding gender-justice. That would give more semblance.

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G Indira
I am Indira Garimella living in Hyderabad. I hold a Master’s Degree and M. Phil (in English) with M.Ed. I worked as PGT in English in Government run Residential Schools. I have been associated with Pragna Bharati, Hyderabad. I also worked as Associate Editor of Bharatiya Pragna, monthly magazine of Pragna Bharati in the past. I have been a keen observer of National Politics and also write letters and articles to the English and Telugu newspapers from time to time.

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