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Rationality and religious practices

Rationality and religious practices
Highlights

This week has been stupendous as far as judiciary is concerned with several key verdicts on contentious issues coming in which have the potential to effect changes to the outlook of modern India and its polity Be it the case of individual choice of sexual preference of married adults or religious practices of a community or in deciding whether AyodhyaBabri dispute a religious one or a property d

This week has been stupendous as far as judiciary is concerned with several key verdicts on contentious issues coming in which have the potential to effect changes to the outlook of modern India and its polity. Be it the case of individual choice of sexual preference of married adults or religious practices of a community or in deciding whether Ayodhya-Babri dispute a religious one or a property dispute, the Apex Court has drawn the line between the right and the wrong.

Though the Apex Court, for that matter, any court, has a duty to pronounce its judgments based on evidence, there would be differing voices when it comes to its judgments on religious practices and societal matters. A question of a law being regressive or progressive is a matter of time because the latter is a continuum. What was yesterday's civilization is today's culture and it becomes tomorrow's tradition. None can dispute the same.

Why did those in the past preferred a certain practice is more out of the compunctions and compulsions of the day. That is why someone would always question the wisdom in terming a practice regressive at a later date. Looking at something and calling it a colonial era remnant is alright to hear but it is also important to keep in mind the social structures and how they have evolved over a period.

Asaduddin Owaise's argument that if adultery is OK and gay sex is OK why not Triple Talaq is a point of view. Asaduddin cannot be called regressive for raising this question as he is questioning only the criminality part of the ordinance. Similarly, if those defending a ban on entry of women in menstrual cycles into Sabarimala cannot be termed regressive just based on this physiological argument alone.

There is a far deeper meaning to the practice there and women are actually not banned at all from having a darshan. That condition applies to only those proceeding on a wow of 'Maladharan'. No Hindu woman goes to the temple during "those days" leave alone Sabarimala. Those who contested this practice can go to the temple too.

But, how many times would they do it? Once, for a photo-op? Later what? This is the problem with those one-minute celebrities who bask in the media glare. Their fanaticism is no less than the real fanatics in opposing something. Perhaps Justice Indu Malhotra rightly dissented in this one just as Justice Nazeer in another case. Rationality and religious practices are two different issues. Everything cannot be brought under Article 25 of the Constitution. Social evils, as Justice Malhotra pointed out, got to go.

But religious practices are something else. Unfortunately, in our country, those who argue against Hinduism, take shelter behind the camouflage of progressive view while donning the secular and liberal attire to protect the practices of other religions to the extent that opposing everything Hindu is the only secular qualification. It is important to gloss over what Justices like Indu Malhotra and Nazeer had to say. It is also a view point. One cannot have a tunnel vision in democracy and justify it through secularism in every issue.

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