The Forbidden Temple

Shani Shingnapur Temple is a famous temple of Shani Dev in the Shingnapur village in Maharashtra. Since childhood we have heard stories about how the people in the village do not lock their doors and yet there have been no thefts. Shani Dev (The God of Planet Saturn) is a very scary God. If it’s wrath befells you, which is for 7 and a half years, you are in for a really horrible time, they say. They being the astrologers and pundits.

Men worshipping Shani Idol

                 Men worshipping Shani Idol

Recently, this temple has been in news and earning the wrath of human beings, for a change. A group of activists, no doubt politically motivated, want women to have a right to pray in the said temple. As far as I know (based on googled knowledge) women can worship, however from far. They are not allowed to mount the place where the idol is placed nor they can offer oil.

I am sure in general, women are happy doing this. As they are following age old rituals. Like not entering temple during menstruation (Which can start a new topic of why menstruating women are not allowed to Sabrimala temple in Kerala). Anyhow, so back to the Shani temple, women wouldn’t mind not being allowed. But the activists have created a furore. And the people who are counter arguing the need for women to enter the temple are giving some idiotic reasoning in my opinion.

Example:

♂ Why activism only against the bias in temples? Why not mosques? Why not fight against lower fees for women actress. ~ Obviously it’s a politically motivated activism. And only they know why they chose this temple issue over other things (To spite BJP would be a major reason)

When Anna Hazare started activism against corruption, who knew one of their biggest supporter would become an ally of corrupt dynasty driven party? After all having a political agenda can not be only a man’s prerogative, right? 😉

♂ If women are not allowed in the temple, why they should even want to go to that temple? Also, is that the only temple left in India? ~ Well, if we accept that argument, and we apply the logic to every fight that has happened in India or elsewhere, no changes / reforms would ever happen. Would you say, if Gandhi was not allowed in the first class coach, he shouldn’t have travelled first class? The so called lower caste people were not allowed to enter temples. So should have they been content? Girls were not allowed to study. Should have they kept quite?

♂ If you do not agree to rituals of the religion, don’t follow the religion ~ Well, if we can not question the rituals of the religion, the origin of which are unknown, the religion should question if it should even exist.

♂ There must be a scientific reason for women to be forbidden ~ This one takes the cake. Someone said radiations from the stone affect only women and hence they are forbidden. Well, I tried finding the exact reason for the ban but could not find any. And if this is the actual reason, warn women. Let them make an informed decision.

In my opinion, if there is no valid and verified reason, there should not be a ban on a woman who genuinely wants to worship the idol. We are “allowing” women to perform last rites today, which was forbidden earlier, isn’t it? So why can’t we change this as well?

It is 2016 and high time that we use our brains rather than blindly following rituals and the dos and don’ts carried over from the stone age.

Your thoughts please? :)