Category Archives: Social Issues

Samarasta Sandesham – Oct 2018

Namaste

Download the October edition of Samarasta Sandesham as shared by Samajika Samarasata Vedika here

 

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Why SC Should Review Its Decision in Sabarimala Case

In its decision in Indian Young Lawyers Association Vs State of Kerala, Supreme Court of India lifted the restriction on entry of Women of a certain age in Sabrimala temple in Kerala. In one the most intricate cases which the Hon’ble Court has faced since its inception, the Court ruled to satisfy the perpetually unsatisfied liberal conscience of Constitutional morality by scrutinizing the rationality of a practice based on religious belief on the touchstone of Fundamental rights. A typical Matrilineal society like Kerala is witnessing massive protests after this decision, women of the prohibited age group have themselves come on the streets and are ready to wait to protect the celibacy of their devote God. Unfortunately this sentiment has been completely blacked out by Local and National Media.

A Review Petition has also been filed in the Supreme Court, which the Court has decided to hear after Dusshera. A case which lacked competent petitioners in the form of genuinely aggrieved parties, a case where rationality determined religious practice and a case where Supreme Court assumed immense power to even dictate the dimensions of people’s faith should be urgently scrutinized in the interests of justice for the sake of the consequences which it will have. In that context it becomes pertinent to point out why the Supreme Court is legally wrong in Sabrimala judgement and why it needs to review its decision at the earliest.

Though arguments as to devotees of Ayappa being separate denomination and practice constituting an essential and integral one has already been rejected by the majority judgement of the Court but irrespective of rejecting the protection under Article 25 & 26 of Constitution, the legal arguments forwarded by the majority in this judgement do not substantiate the decision of the Court on the following counts-

1. Petitioners had no Locus Standi in this Case
The Writ petition in this case has been filed by a registered Association of Lawyers which has been followed by Intervenors working around the area of Punjab focusing on issues of gender equality and justice, none of them are devotees of Ayappa, none of them have ever seen where the Sabrimala shrine is and would not even bother to go there after the restriction on entry has been lifted. It is astonishing to know that petitioners in this case have said that they learned about such a restricting practice in Sabrimala by from three newspaper articles, written by Barkha Dutt, Veer Sanghvi and Sharvani Pandit in July 2006. In the absence of any genuine aggrieved petitioner the Writ Petition does not deserve to be entertained for want of standing (locus standi ?) at in the first place. The grievances raised are non-justiciabl ande at the behest of the parties who are not at all devotees of Ayappa, they cannot claim violation of their Freedom of Religion and Right to Practice in a case where they do not believe in the Deity itself at the first place.

2. Plurality of Traditions and not Gender Discrimination
In a culturally diverse Country like India, which revers millions of deities, almost every place of worship has some distinct and diverse beliefs, rituals and practices. This is the beauty of traditional plurality of Hindu religion unlike the Abrahamic ones which have been streamlined under the unified command of One Book, One Prophet and One Religion. In one of 51 Shakti Peeths in India is a typical example of Maa Kamakhya Temple in Assam, where a menstruating Goddess is worshipped as a deity, women are allowed to enter the premises during their menstrual cycle and no men are allowed in this temple. Only female priests or sanyasis maintain the temple where the menstrual cloth of Goddess Sati is considered highly auspicious and is distributed to the devotees. So the whole argument constructed around the notion of menstruation being impure and considered as a polluted state of body where over-enthusiastic petitioners have gone to an extent of comparing it as Untouchability under Article 17 of the Constitution in Sabrimala case is nothing but convenient misconception. There are several Hindu Temples like Attukal Bhagvathi temple in Kerala, Jagat Pita Brahma temple in Puskar, Rajasthan or Bhagvati Maa temple in Kanyakumari which do not allow men to enter into the temple premises but that does not make it a case of “Discrimination based on Sex” prohibited under Article 15 of the Constitution but is a perfect example of “traditional plurality” existing in Hindu modes of worship.

Similarly the restriction in Sabrimala is never intended to perpetuate any gender discrimination or undermine a menstruating women as an impure physical existence of a body. The basic Customary practice mandates a 41 days Vratam to enter into the premises and since women ranging from puberty and menopause cannot observe this Vratam, therefore they are not allowed, even men also who do not observe this cannot be allowed. The logic behind this practice is that since menstruation is a painful time where stringent conduct of Vrithum cannot be observed and since deity himself has appeared in a strict Celibate form cannot be compromised women belonging to a certain age group are not allowed. This is not the case with almost 1000 other temples of Ayappa because the form of the deity there is not celibate. So the intention behind the practice is to necessitate the observance of Vratam, it is believed that Lord Ayappa himself observed this 41 days strict ascetic conduct before he entered into the idol and since the restriction is not on the entire class of women (limited only to a certain age group) it would never amount to gender based discrimination under Article 15 of the Constitution. It is as simple as this.

3. Problems of Essential practices doctrine
Though Court in this case has rejected both the arguments as to separate denominational status of devotees of Ayappa and the practice as being an essential one but contrastingly the very nature of practice is so important to the very existence of the temple that it will be catastrophic to the faith of devotees who believe in the absolute celibacy of Lord Ayappa, for them it would be an end to their faith and devotion in the form of deity. Though Our Supreme Court has always been fond of assuming the role of clergy but the kind of power they have subsumed here is problematic, the decision in Sabrimala has given the power to the Court to decide How Our God should be? They have acquired an unrestricted power to determine belief, faith and forms of worship of an individual and a community by this decision. This might not look so problematic when it comes to Hindu religion which believes in polytheism but we would face serious consequences of this decision when it will come to decide the form of God of other religions. Sabrimala is a perfect case of penetration of State through instrumentality of Courts into people’s life right upto the level of determing the rationality of the faith of the people and subverting freedom of Conscience under artificial conceptions of Constitutional Morality.

We know that this is an Era of Nationalization of Hindu Temples and bravery of Courts in India is limited to Hindus only. They have always been selective in their approach of reforms in Religions. In a very astonishing Case, Supreme Court, in Zoroastrian Co-operative Housing Society Vs District Registrar Co-operative Societies ruled in favour of by-laws of a society registered under a statute which provided that flat owners in the Parsi society can sell their flats only to people belonging to Parsi Religion and nobody else. Now this is a clear violation of Article 15 of Indian Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the ground of religion but Hon’ble Supreme Court went on to upheld it on the flimsy arguments of freedom of contract despite the fact of the public nature of Housing society and such discriminatory practice would give rise to ghettoization in the country perpetuating communal divide. It is sad but true, we are living in an age where Housing Societies in India have more rights than Hindu Temples.

It looks very strange when somebody tells a matrilineal society like Kerala in general and Hindu Culture in particular to treat women equally. Ours is the only cultural in the world which revers female existence as Goddess and if you will look at the entire cabinet of Hindu deities, Finance Ministry belongs to Lakshmi, Education Ministry to Saraswati and defense Ministry to Kaali. We Hope that our Supreme Court would realise that a religion which believes in “Ardhnarishvara Swaroop” of God i.e., synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe and illustrates how Shakti is inseparable from Shiva would never allow Gender discrimination within its sanctorum sanctums. Sabrimala is nothing but a typical example of plurality of ritualistic traditions and beliefs in diverse Hindu ways of worship which must be respected, it has nothing to do with gender based discrimination or artificially crafted notions of pure or polluted body, hopefully Hon’ble Supreme Court in its wisdom considers it in review of its decision.
– Shubham Tiwari
(The writer is a student at NALSAR, Hyderabad)

వోల్టేర్ ఇస్లాం, క్రైస్తవం గురించి చెప్పినది కంచ ఐలయ్య ఒప్పుకుంటాడా ?

ఇటీవల ఒక టీవి (టీవి 9) కార్యక్రమంలో మాట్లాడుతూ కంచ ఐలయ్య తనను తాను ఆధునిక వోల్టేర్ గా అబివర్ణించుకున్నాడు. సదరు కార్యక్రమ నిర్వాహకుడు (మురళీకృష్ణ)గాని, చానల్ కానీ ఈ విషయంలో ఎలాంటి ప్రశ్నలు వేయకపోయినా ఐలయ్య నిజంగా వోల్టేర్ చెప్పినవన్నీ అంగీకరిస్తాడా ? ముఖ్యంగా ఇస్లాం, క్రైస్తవం గురించి వోల్టేర్ చెప్పిన విషయాలను తాను కూడా ప్రచారం చేస్తాడా? చేయగలడా? ఇంతకీ వోల్టేర్ ఇస్లాం, క్రైస్తవం, హిందూత్వం గురించి ఏం చెప్పాడు ?….

క్రైస్తవం గురించి …

ప్రూషియా రాజు ఫ్రెడ్రిక్ II కు 5 జనవరి, 1767న రాసిన ఉత్తరంలో వోల్టేర్ క్రైస్తవం గురించి తన అభిప్రాయాలు వ్యక్తంచేశాడు. “మనది ప్రపంచంలోనే అత్యంత హాస్యాస్పదమైన, అర్ధంలేని మతం. అంతేకాదు ఇది అత్యంత రక్తసిక్తమైన మతం కూడా. ఓ మహారాజా! ఈ అత్యంత మూఢవిశ్వాసాన్ని సమూలంగా పెకిలించివేయడం ద్వారా మీరు  ప్రపంచానికి శాశ్వతమైన మేలు చేసినవారు అవుతారు. ఎందుకు పనికిరాని, జ్ఞానగంధం ఏమాత్రం అంటనివారికి ఆ మేలు ఏమిటో తెలియకపోవచ్చును కానీ ఆలోచనాపరులు, నిజాయితీపరులు దానిని గుర్తిస్తారు..అయితే నా విచారమంతా ఈ పవిత్ర , మానవ మేధస్సుకు తట్టిన అత్యంత శ్రేష్టమైన కార్యంలో మీకు సహాయ పడలేకపోతున్నాను.’’

ఇస్లాం గురించి ….

ఇస్లాం గురించి వోల్టేర్ కు సదభిప్రాయం ఎప్పుడూ లేదు. ఖురాన్  భౌతిక శాస్త్ర సూత్రాలకు పూర్తి  విరుద్దమని ఆయన భావించాడు. ప్రూషియా రాజు ఫ్రెడ్రిక్ II కు రాసిన ఉత్తరంలో మహమ్మద్ క్రూరత్వాన్ని గురించి ప్రస్తావిస్తూ `దానిని ఎవరూ, ఏ మాత్రం అంగీకరించలేరని నేను కచ్చితంగా చెపుతాను’ అని రాశాడు. మహమ్మద్ కు ఉన్న అనుచరగణమంతా మూఢవిశ్వాసం, అజ్ఞానం వల్లనే అలా మారారని అభిప్రాయపడ్డాడు. ఆ ఉత్తరంలోనే ఇంకా ఇలా రాశాడు -“ఒక ఒంటెల వ్యాపారి తన గ్రామంలో అద్భుతం చేయడమేమిటి? తాను దేవత గాబ్రియల్ తో నేరుగా మాట్లాడతానని అమాయకులైన తన అనుచరులను నమ్మించడమేమిటి? తాను స్వర్గానికి వెళ్ళివచ్చానని నమ్మించడమేమిటి ? అక్కడ `అర్ధంపర్ధంలేని’ ఒక గ్రంధాన్ని పొందానని చెప్పడమేమిటి? ఆ పుస్తకాన్ని విశ్వసించాలని చెప్పడమేమిటి? ఆ పుస్తకం పట్టుకుని తన దేశంలో అల్లకల్లోలం సృష్టించడమేమిటి ? తండ్రుల కుత్తుకలు కోసి, ఆడపిల్లలను ఎత్తుకుపోవడమేమిటి ? తన మతమా లేక మరణమా అంటూ మెడమీద కత్తి పెట్టడమేమిటి ?.. ఇదంతా టర్క్ గా పుట్టినవాడో, అంధవిశ్వాసంతో సహజమైన బుద్ధి పూర్తిగా మందగించినవాడో ఒప్పుకోవాలితప్ప  కనీసమైన జ్ఞానం ఉన్న ఎవరు అంగీకరించలేరు. ‘’

హిందూత్వం గురించి…

హిందువుల పవిత్ర గ్రంధాలైన వేదాల గురించి వోల్టేర్ ఇలా వ్యాఖ్యానించాడు -“వేదం వంటి అత్యంత అపురూపమైన బహుమతి ఇచ్చినందుకు పాశ్చాత్య ప్రపంచం ప్రాచ్య ప్రపంచానికి ఎప్పుడూ ఋణపడి ఉంటుంది. ‘’

వోల్టేర్ ఇస్లాం, క్రైస్తవాన్ని గురించి ఇలా మాట్లాడితే , ఆధునిక వోల్టేర్ నని చెప్పుకుంటున్న కంచ ఐలయ్య మాత్రం అందుకు పూర్తి విరుద్ధంగా వేదాలను తిట్టిపోసి, ఇస్లాం, క్రైస్తవాలను నెత్తిన పెట్టుకోవడం విచిత్రం.  దీనినిబట్టి కంచ ఐలయ్య అబద్దాలకోరని, వోల్టేర్ వంటివారి పేరు చెప్పుకుని మేధావిగా చెలామణి అవాలనుకుంటున్న అజ్ఞాని అని తెలుస్తోంది.

Voltaire on Islam and Christianity – Does Kancha Ilaiah Agree with him ?

VoltaireKancha Ilaiah presents himself as a modern day Voltaire in a TV9 interview “Murali Krishna Encounter with Kancha Ilaiah – TV 9 “!
…and media doesn’t question whether he agrees with Voltaire on his views
Voltaire on Christianity
His comments on Christianity ” In a letter to Frederick II, King of Prussia, dated 5 January 1767, he wrote about Christianity:
La nôtre [religion] est sans contredit la plus ridicule, la plus absurde, et la plus sanguinaire qui ait jamais infecté le monde.
“Our [religion] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out..
Voltaire on Islam
Voltaire’s views about Islam remained negative; he considered the Qur’an to be ignorant of the laws of physics. In a 1740 letter to Frederick II of Prussia, Voltaire ascribes to Muhammad a brutality that “is assuredly nothing any man can excuse” and suggests that his following stemmed from superstition and lack of enlightenment. Voltaire continued in his letter, “But that a camel-merchant should stir up insurrection in his village; that in league with some miserable followers he persuades them that he talks with the angel Gabriel; that he boasts of having been carried to heaven, where he received in part this unintelligible book, each page of which makes common sense shudder; that, to pay homage to this book, he delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse, at least if he was not born a Turk, or if superstition has not extinguished all natural light in him.”
Voltaire on Hinduism 
Voltaire comments on the sacred texts of the Hindus, the Vedas,
“The Veda was the most precious gift for which the West had ever been indebted to the East.”
Contrary to Voltaire, Kancha Ilaiah has great respect for Christianity and Islam and Vedic texts as oppressive texts.
Kancha Ilaiah is a liar who hides behind great people like Voltaire to present himself as a free thinker.