Swami Sharanam: In September, the Supreme Court judgement in case of Sabarimala has created widespread resentment among the Hindus of Kerala. Supreme Court after a prolonged hearing allowed women between age group of 10 and 50 to pray in the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. Temple administration restrain women of this age group to enter the temple since time immemorial according to the Hindu faith and tradition. The judgement of Supreme Court has sent shock waves among the Hindus in Kerala. In a visible reaction Hindus in Kerala have displayed an unprecedented show of unity against the judgement. The anger has spiralled into a mass uprising against the stubborn state Government and the regressive judgement by the Supreme Court. For the first time in India, there is a conflict between constitutional provisions and the public faith and the majority support is with the former.
The local Hindu shrines and temples in Kerala follow a vital grim regimen of dress code and conduct for visiting devotees. Sabarimala is one among such places. The Hindu populace is the most progressive in the Keralite social structure, and they also hold respect for the traditions of temples. While abiding the grim traditional boundaries at these places Hindus scaled the new peaks of development as a community. But in person they remained self-contained about their religious faith and choices. This has created a disunity among the Hindu society in contradictory voices of a traditional belief and liberal thought. In close coexistence with Muslim and Christian communities in Kerala, they appear more liberal in accommodating other religions than committed to their own religious customs and dogmas. Over, the years plural society has taken this disunity for granted and utilised to break the faith system in a slow and steady manner under the garb replacing it with secular credentials. In comparison, other religions in Kerala have remained tight-fisted about their value systems and seldom allowed others to interfere in their matters. After Sabarimala verdict Hindus have understood the disunity among them. The women came out of their houses to protest against the apex court judgement and wanted to continue with the old customs at the shrine. Though, superficially it appears against them.
The new breed of petitioners in and round the courts, unaware of the fall outs and reactions continue filing PILs to courts on sensitive social issues. They are experts in filing the PILs. PILs related to abrogation of fundamental rights or infringement of constitution get priority in hearing in Apex court. However petitioners have zero stakes involved in it nor are they the affected party. The petitioners in Sabarimala case have not understood the reasons of the traditional practices of certain ages. They have only one exhausted excuse of depriving of the fundamental right to pray. Words of the law wins sacrificing the spirit behind the existing faith or the rule. Not allowing women between the age group of ten to fifty was age custom. It did not cause material and psychological damage to the society and women in particular. But the verdict tossed the otherwise calm and law-abiding society and brought them together for the fight.
The Kerala Government behaved like a fiddling Nero in the case. In, a democracy a mass public opinion is important than the party ideology. In, such sensitive cases party ideology is like an opinion. For larger peace and betterment of the society personal opinions must keep aside for majority faith. The Government showed extraordinary alacrity in imposing the court order against the wishes of people. They did not show intent of filing the review petition. This haste has aggravated the alienation among the Hindus in Kerala causing the mass uprising.
The Sabarimala case brought up the deep fissures in the plural existence in the Kerala. The liberal Hindu society feels they have lost their identity and subjected to an alienation. Time and corrective steps may heal the wounds. But this uprising serves valuable lesson for Hindu community across nation to become more aware and active in understanding their tradition and need to stand united for preserving their culture.
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