The fact of the matter is, Sabarimala has become a political football now. Nothing more.
That is hardly surprising. That's the nature of politics.
But what’s truly mystifying is the resistance to women’s entry coming from women. Women in public life and women in politics.
To them, I ask — Think back.
Sabarimala should be a deeply personal issue to every Hindu woman. Believer, atheist, 'urban naxal', Maoist, bhakt or otherwise.
Just think back.
Have you forgotten that confusing time of your puberty, when you were suddenly declared 'impure'? (Photo: Reuters/file)
Have you forgotten that confusing time of your puberty, when you were suddenly declared 'impure'?
And tell me, have you not spent that hugely confusing time of your puberty, negotiating the sudden changes between what was allowed to you by virtue of being a ‘kanya’ and what was suddenly denied because you were bleeding?
At age 14, the joy of participating in an elaborate ritual that had your feet washed, got you halwa puri and money, was rudely snatched away. No explanations given.
Unwelcome in the kitchen.
Pickle was supposed to rot at your very touch.
Your grandmother refused to drink the water you brought.
The family went for a trip to your Isht-Devta temple — and you were made to wait outside. No explanation. No apology.
Are you saying you felt no tinge of humiliation? Anger? Resentment?
When you ceased to be a Devi, because of something that nature had thrust on you?
When your grandmother fled from you, when the temple was out of bounds.
All the things you had to deal with — in addition to this strange pain twisting through your body?
And you want to cling on to that exclusion, those boundaries? Why? (Photo: PTI)
If you didn’t feel anger then, continue to oppose women’s entry into a temple simply because they bleed.
But for the rest of us, it’s personal.
It’s time to reclaim spaces that were denied to you — because of the ‘dirty’ blood that was thrust on you by mother nature.