She Does Not Have The Right to Worship

She Does Not Have The Right to Worship

Right to worship is a fundamental right guaranteed under article 25 of the Indian Constitution. All modes of worship considered by a religion are its integral parts. Every person irrespective of his caste, religion, gender must respect this right. However, women in India are not even aware of these rights. Right to worship is one of them.

Do you know that there are women who are fighting for their right to pray?

The Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra does not allow women to enter and pray inside. Only men devotees are allowed inside. Shingnapur is famous because almost no thefts have ever been reported despite the fact that the houses in the villages do not have any doors, just doorframes. Most residents never keep their valuables under lock and key, believing that the deity would punish anyone attempting to steal something.

Have you ever thought why women are always victimised?

The police detained at least 300 women activists from entering the temple. The sad part is that there are about 100 more temples where women are not allowed. There are innumerable obstacles for women as far as religious rights are concerned. There have been  instances where women have been denied the right to pray.

Don’t you think this is pure violation of The Indian Constitution? Every citizen of the country whether a man or a woman has the right to pray and worship in his or her own way without any obstruction.

Is it justified to practice gender discrimination even at religious places?

Religious institutions have become mere tools supporting patriarchy which convey to the women community that they are impure and hence, are denied their right to worship. The women in India have been fighting for their fundamental rights so as to access the places of worship, fighting against the male dominated religious hierarchy. Women have equal rights just as men and exploitation against them must stop as it has touched its peak. The law cannot be modified  by the male chauvinists who claim to be superior to women.

Many activists have been fighting to end the century old ban on women entering  the temples. Many women took the initial step of doing something that has never happened in the past. They even threatened the authorities saying that if they are not allowed to enter the temple, they would climb the ladders from the helicopters and enter the temple.

Do you think women activists should not have made such a bold move? The broader objective behind this move was to overcome gender discrimination in the temples.

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