IOS Calicut Chapter organises lecture on “Anti-Women Customs and Rituals in South India”

IOS Calicut Chapter organises lecture on “Anti-Women Customs and Rituals in South India”

Calicut, April 23: Ms P Ambika, activist and writer said that customs and rituals in many temples in South India are anti-women and anti-Dalit and despite the strenuous efforts by social reformers these unconstitutional and discriminatory practices still remain unchanged. She was addressing a select audience on the topic “Anti-Women Customs and Rituals in South India”, a project launched by IOS Calicut Chapter. Historical record show that when Buddhism was wiped out in the country, the Vedic Brahmins regained hegemony over the society, she added. It was the beginning of a new phase of control in which Dalits and women again became victims of suppression and marginalisation.

Brahmin priests and the rulers allied with them promoted two important religious texts: Manu Smriti and Shankara Smriti. Both promoted varnashrma dharma and were basically anti-women. It is true that influential Brahmin priests were behind the elevation of traditional goddesses to a higher pedestal and the Hindu pantheon. But at the same time the customs and rituals most often depict women as source of evil. She said that her survey of certain temples in south India prove this argument. The idols, rituals, customs and traditions legitimize the discrimination. Women are described as “impure” and refused entry in some of very famous temples. For instance in Sabari Mala Sri Sastha temple only young girls and old women are permitted for darshan in spite of the judgment of the Supreme Court, permitting women of all age groups could enter the temple.

Prof P Koya , IOS Calicut Chapter’s Coordinator presided over the function. Ms K V Jameela welcomed the audience and EM Sadiq proposed the vote of thanks.

 

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