Shani Shingnapur Temple Case: What the Court said?
Women are not allowed to climb the platform of Shani Shingnapur temple on which the rock idol of Shani is installed. Senior advocate Neelima Vartak and activist Vidya Bal have filed a PIL in the high court, arguing that such prohibition is arbitrary, illegal and in violation of fundamental rights of citizens. They have sought implementation of the Maharashtra Hindu Places of Public Worship (entry Authorization) Act, 1956. The Act says “No Hindu of whatsoever section or class shall in any manner be prevented, obstructed or discouraged from entering such place of public worship or from worshipping or offering prayers, or performing a religious service…”. As per the Act, prohibiting any person from entering a temple would attract six months in jail.
Referring to the Act, the court said: “It is your own law, you are obliged to uphold it.”
Source: Indian Express
Let us discuss Shani Shingnapur temple case later. Let us first discuss the story of science and the story of continuous evolution. The story of science has been a story of continuous evolution, since an apple fell on the head of Sir Isaac Newton in the late 17th Century. Today, one must accept that Science is part of our daily lives. From the early morning tooth brush and paste which we use to rinse and clean our mouths to the daily BP or Diabetes Tablet which we take before we sleep, or to the Smart Phone continuously in our hands, our lives are totally dependent on Science. Science is no longer a subject to be studied and excelled at. Science has become a way of life.
Like Science, there is another crucial aspect which is part and parcel of our daily lives. That is Religion. Both, Religion and Science today define a Human Being. Two questions which are continuously asked or observed of a person at any given time are: How tech savvy he or she is? How religious he or she is?
This is where that, lies a fundamental difference within the World’s greatest 3 Religions. With two on one side, and the 3rd on the other. 2 of these great 3 Religions have failed to evolve totally since the last almost 2 Millennium since their inception into the Human Society. Their fundamentals guided by just a Single Book, penned and worded 2 Millennia ago, with the Language in which they were penned still evolving in those times. In fact, the language Greek of one of the Book being in its total decline when the Holy Book was being penned. No variations in these books are allowed. No interpretations of the Books are allowed. And, specifically in one Religion, even no Translations are allowed. It is really ironic and contrasting to see a 2000 year old message Posted by an ardent follower of that Religion in a 21st Century Invention called Face Book. 100% of the present Conflicts in the World are involving the supporters of these 2 Religions.
World War I was initiated by the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand of Austria by a Serb Nationalist who was member of the radical Serb Group ‘Young Bosnia’, supported by another radical Serb Nationalist Group ‘Black Hand’. The irony is not missed that the essence of Serb Nationalism in Bosnia is due to presence of a high percentage of Muslims in Bosnia. This is the very Bosnia which descended into a mindless orgy of religious violence unprecedented in History 80 years after the 1st World War.
World War II was caused due to the rise of Fascism in Germany, which smartly camouflaged its Fascist intentions by considering people of all other Non-German races and religions as expendable.
It is no secret that, among all the possible causes of World War III, each of them point to the escalation of a localized Religious Conflict to a full blown World War III. As we speak, there are approximately around 60 Low or High Intensity conflicts in this World at the moment. Almost 100% of them, being of Religious nature.
Which, brings us to the 3rd Great Religion, Hinduism. To understand Hinduism better, one should understand how a Fisherman, how a Washer man, how a Carpenter, how a Trader, how a Farmer, or how a Menial Laborer, who make up the majority of the population, used to live with their family in olden times in the vast expanse of present day India. Were they steeped in Religion, or were they immersed in their daily wage earning work? There is enough evidence to prove that, Hindus of Olden times always gave preference to work over Faith. As they are doing now. Nothing, absolutely nothing has changed for them or their way of life even today in the 21st Century. Yes, they were God Fearing! They still are. But somehow and somewhere a Hindu was born with a sense of in-built responsibility. Responsibility for his Family was and always is his top priority. A Hindu can go months if not years without entering a Temple, but his Hindu identity was etched in his mind and heart like an un-removable engraved label on a Steel Product. Millions of Hindus die without even stepping into the sanctum of a Temple in their lifetimes. But yes, their mothers, sisters, wives & daughters definitely do. For a Hindu Family, the Family lady’s piousness is automatically his. And, he derives strength from her faith and her daily or weekly temple visits or house prayers.
Where-as in stark contrast, in the other 2 Religions, the Male’s piousness defines the family’s faith, in Hinduism, the house lady’s piousness defines the faith of the family. It is precisely due to this male dominance in the other 2 faiths one witnesses exceeding attempts at Proselytization (Conversions) by them on people of other faiths. Where-as, due to a virtually non-existent indulgence of deep faith by Hindu Men, who prefer to be just a ‘Hindu’ rather than a ‘keenly practicing Hindu’, that, Hinduism has never seen any attempts at Proselytization on people of other faiths. And probably will never see. All the converts into Hinduism over the years have been 100% Voluntary in any part of the World at any given date in History. Where-as, on the contrary, 100% of Conversions into other faiths have been due to the practice of extensive Proselytism by men/males of these two faiths. Both, by Violent as well as by Non-Violent Means over the Centuries.
Shani Shingnapur Temple Row: A case blown out of proportions
Coming back to the faith of the Hindu family, which is basically guided by the Lady of the family, one finds a deep rooted irony and humor in the attempt at some misguided women in Maharashtra to enter various inner sanctums of certain temples including the Shani Shingnapur Temple which claim that, they do not allow the same as per tradition. There are approximately 750,000 to 1 Million Temples in India. Out of which the total number of temples observing such traditions, which is, not to allow women in inner sanctums might not be more then 10. Does this qualify for a protest and 24×7 coverage, now going on since months? Have each of these women ever visited the temple nearest their houses? What is there in this issue to deserve a 24×7 coverage? If not, for the purpose of defaming Hinduism?
Every Temple will have its own tradition. A certain Temple will say that the tradition is to go around a certain Pillar from left to right. Shani Shingnapur temple has its own, Mahalaxmi has its own. Will we go and oppose the same that, it is our right to go around the Pillar in whichever way we want? Will we engage in a protest? Additionally, a Live 24×7 coverage to this protest?
The most disgusting aspect on the 24×7 coverage of the Media on this is, the Media trying to convey that they are fair with all religions on the discrimination of women at Holy Places. To convey an example of women being discriminated in Islam, they conveyed an extremely laughable example about women not being allowed into Haji Ali Dargah at the suburb of Mahalakhsmi in Mumbai. For those who don’t know, Dargahs are not Mosques. A Dargah is a tomb of a Muslim Sufi Saint which, are not recognized by and in Islam. Puritanical Islam frowns on Dargahs, in fact despises Dargahs, and considers all Dargahs as an offshoot of Hindu Culture still existing like an appendix among Muslims of India & Pakistan. Islam does not allow for veneration of anyone other than one God. So any religious structure venerating an Individual is considered as anti-Islam. Which, a Dargah does. Every Dargah venerates a Sufi Saint. This, is also the primary reason why Sufis are being persecuted, and also killed across the World today, in the countries they live. Ask the Media to do a 24×7 coverage on women not entering a proper Mosque, the result will be for the world to see. A fact which, they very well are aware about.
But Hinduism, like always, has taken up this challenge. The Hindu Judge of the Court overseeing the Shani Shingnapur temple case has given the verdict in favor of the petitioners. By doing so, Hinduism has yet again demonstrated the steely resolve to evolve. Not out of sympathy to the petitioners, but, out of sheer disgust at their antics. The entire Hindu World would like to see how many times these gross women will enter these sanctums to seek divine blessings. Or, will they say, we have done this for all women and not for us?
The Hindu teaches himself to be of cutting edge, which is why today a Hindu White & Blue Collar Worker is high on demand today in various parts of the world. Shani Shingnapur Temple once again testifies the self-correcting nature of Hinduism. Hindus exist in all 189 Countries of the worlds as proud & successful migrants. Both, recently as well as centuries back.
All this, because of our extremely Intelligent, Hard Working, Honest & Pure Culture.
Feel indeed blessed and proud to be born a Hindu!!!