Wheather you like it or not ‘Gender Inequality’ is staring into our face crying out: “Oh my God” and forces us to hang our heads in utter shame before a civilized world, both in politics and all religions. Recall Sabarmala for Hinduism and Clerialism in Christianity! Just a brief look at politics alone here.
What is women’s wall on Jan.1st? It is sponsored by Kerala’s Communist Government with twin objectives: 1st to enforce SC judgment of gender equality; 2nd to show support also for women’s belief in conflict with SC judgment; Government cannot ignore women’s votes in the State. But It is made to appear, that most women of Kerala want to protest and promote the out-dated middle age blind superstitious religious practice forbidding women of menstruating ages to go to Sannidanam. Unfortunately it is true!
Most women still want to follow the traditional faith practice, even after the Supreme court struck it down in its historic judgment. A house divided against itself cannot stand! ‘Intelligenti paucca!’ (Few words enough for the intelligent!) Are Kerala women literally becoming ‘educated illiterates’ walking backwards to dark ages? “Oh tempora et mores!” Oh the times we live in and stupidities we indulge in!
So the Kerala women’ wall (Mahila Mathil) standing up, hand to hand on New Year Jan. lst, is a show of protest against Gender inequality on Sabarimala. Unlike Trump’s Mexican border wall to stop migrants, it is a protest against Hindutva-RSS-BJP ban to prevent Menstrating women – an age-old superstitious practice – to go to Sannidanam, in spite of SC judgment allowing women of all ages to go.
The CPM Communist government in Kerala is all set to implement the Court order, which it is in duty bound to do and has been giving enormous police protection for those who want to go, but stopping short of using brute force to avoid bloodshed. Pinarayi Vijayan Government is to be complimented for this moderation. Read below what Archana Datta in The Statesman on women’s inequality in politics:”Women still kept out of Indian legislatures,” 29/12/2018/ It is self-explanatory.
Women in Politics!
“Way back in 2008, PRS legislative research, on the eve of the introduction of the constitutional 108th Amendment Bill, which proposed to reserve 33 per cent of seats for women in the Lok Sabha, and in the legislative assemblies, found that there were only 280 women out of the total 4,120 MLAs in the twenty-eight States and two Union Territories. It was less than 7 per cent of all MLAs, and even lesser than 9.5 per cent of women’s representation in the then Lok Sabha.
West Bengal had the highest of nearly 13 per cent, while among the southern States, Tamil Nadu topped the list with 9.4 per cent of women MLAs, followed by Andhra with 8.8 per cent. Surprisingly, Kerala, with its more than 90 per cent literacy rate at that time, had only about 5 per cent representation, and Karnataka was as low as 1.3 per cent.
In the Hindi belt, Haryana had a better representation of 12.2 per cent women MLAs. Some of the NE states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and also Puducherry did not have a single woman MLA. It is an irony that the women’s reservation bill is still languishing in political cold storage.”
It looks, even today Kerala is projecting the same image of a “Mad House” Vivekananda saw in its social, political and religious practices. It is to bring about a radical change that around 50 Lakh strong ‘Weman’s Wall” from Kasargode to other end is held on New Year 2019, not witnessed any where else in the world watching Kerala.
When I think of my own people in Kerala, the image that leaps to my mind is that of a “Honey Comb”, God’s own country, sweet and enticing geographically and paradiselike, with outgoing and enterprising people! It’s inmates are of two kinds: workers, a minority, who go all over the world to bring honey home, and the laizy goons who stay home idle to drink it up, and for diversion organize Striks, Harthals, Bunds and collect “Nokku Coolies”, fat sums, for just ‘looking at’ and doing nothing!
How long can this ‘Thamsa, baffoonary’ go on? We have to be fair to our “Fair Sex!”; we can’t afford to hurt them and make our kitchens stand still – children at home and men folk will starve! How to change the mindset of our women folk? Kerala with 90% of literacy is the top literate State in India. Are women here more illiterate than men? NO. Then why are they LESS visible in religious and political field, discussed above? They are also less visisble in the job market in offices and as executives of leading FIRMS, although the situation is fast improving.
Church, Central-State Governments
The Kerala Jacobite Orthodox Church has already thrown in their full support of over one Lack to join the women’s wall to uphold renaissance values. The Catholic church, as usual has not opened its mouth for or against. It never does on any controversial issues, religious or political, so that the options are left open to join the winning side. We saw it in the Ernakulam land sale and Bishops Mulakal’s sex abuse cases.
The BJP Central Government and the Communist Kerala Governments are at longer heads to augment their vote bank, one using Hindutva religious beliefs, the other secular universal values based on SC judgment and also not hurting religious traditions of faithful surrounding Sabarimala, with eye for their votes in coming elections.
Devil in Detail!
The main culprit, the Devil in the detail on both sides, is PATRIARCHAL mindset of men in the FAMILIES, corner stones of society. Introduction of Gender Equality in the Family automatically will be reflected in Religious practices at Sabarimala and in Political leadership in the coming General elections 2019. Where there is a WILL there is a way.
First thing to do is to convince oneself, that Gender Inequality is not God-made, but MAN-MADE! Let today’s Women’s Wall be an unforgettable event to remember and act upon for all FUTURE GENERATIONS! james kotoor, editor ccv.