Do we need to allow and follow the age old traditions of not allowing women to offer her prayers in a sanctum santorum. It is widely believed that the presence of women near to the deity is considered as impure, So it became an age old practice to deny them entry into certain temples in India purely on the logic that women menstruate, so considered them impure to visit the temple to offer her prayers to the deity. So naturally the question of “Equality before the law “ comes to fore, if the constitution says that there shouldn’t be any discrimination on the basis of Sex, both male and female is equal before the law, also enjoys equal rights. So if that is the case then women should be allowed to visit the temple like men do. But most of the time discussion revolves around age-old tradition and practices as the sole reason which still disallows women to enter the temple. So the next question which comes to the mind is Should we allow the age old tradition to supersede the fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution is a something which needs to discuss seriously, a consensus needs to be evolved in the coming years. Constitutionally or as per the law of the land, if women want to visit a temple to offer her prayers to the deity, she should be legally allowed to do so. The Most visible disconnect which is largely there in our Hindu culture, we know that we worship goddess like Saraswati, Kali & Parvathi then why such discrimination to women by not permitting them to worship the deity in Sabarimala, one of the major temple in south India, like this certain temples in India don’t permit women to enter.
Historically over many centuries the patriarchal system of society was male dominated, so to have a control over the women by subjugating them with several restrictions, forced them to lead an inferior life when compared to men. The ulterior motive to coin such tradition or practices was to put women under men’s control. The effective or easier way is to impose certain restrictions in the name of traditions. But who framed that tradition? it is clear that the male dominated population was the architect of such illogical practices. But in Hindu philosophy Vedas are considered as the most divine, all prevailing collection of wisdom where such restrictive practices of gender discrimination could never be found. The section of the people who raise their voices against permitting the women to enter the temple is not in the position to give convincing reasons to deny the permission, all they could say was “Age-old Tradition”. Same applies to those days when the sathi system was in practice So as a society it’s clearly a matter of collective consciousness to find a reasonable solution to this unending confusion to allow women the permission into the temple.
We have reached a situation where the society especially the temple administration, important people who represent those bodies sit and revisit those traditional practices. We cannot keep on denying women’s right to worship, Supreme court of the land has asked to review the practices, sought the reasons to deny their permission. The society and its practices needs to get evolved with time, if their general demand from women’s community on this issue, I think the competent authorities cannot remain oblivious to the general mood, keep on harping back to the past tradition, practices& rituals as the only reason for the continued stand on denying them the permission . Most of the practices which have been followed over centuries might be suited to those days. Time has come to change and review these primitive traditions, allow the women the equal rights to worship as men. Our culture of Sanatana dharma represents the entire worldview, way of life and with a coherent and rational view of reality. So let’s all follow and practice that hindu dharma by becoming ideal to other religions also.