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Why Patriarchy Continues

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“Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains, is a slave, not a free man.” I was reminded of this quote by B R Ambedkar when I learnt about the Ready to Wait campaign in protest against the recent Supreme Court decision allowing entry of women into Sabarimala temple. Protests were inevitable in the light of such a progressive decision; however, this appalling campaign emerged from that group whose rights to equality and dignity were given effect by this decision. Can it be termed anything but slavery of the mind that the women of the most literate state of our country do not feel any sense of discrimination or inequality in being called impure and polluted during their menstruating years? They are highly discomforted by the infringement of their customary rights, their culture and traditions, which have been imposed upon them by their religion; however, the incessant infringement of their fundamental rights on a daily basis fails to bother them. Rather, more shockingly, they dismiss the rights discourse as a concept of Western patriarchy.

There are reports of thousands of women flocking the streets of Kerala to protest against the judgment and to “protect” the temple and Lord Ayyappa. In order to save their age-old tradition and belief, the women are “ready to wait” to enter the temple as per the desires and commands of the deity. There were young women on the television defending this campaign and questioning the devotion of those who were not ready to follow the wishes of their lord. There were also reported incidents of protesters who tried to kill themselves in order to prevent the women from entering the temple when it opened on 17 October 2018.

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Updated On : 26th Oct, 2018

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