Sabarimala: The Ugly face of Tradition

If the battle between obscurantism and progressivism intensifies and spreads across the nation, Hindu nationalism will be blown to smithereens. Because, then, the battle will not be limited to temples; it will also cover other issues, including awareness among the women and the Shudras. But the RSS does not want to talk about these issues because they are a threat to its very existence. Tells Kanwal Bharati

Hinduism is the only religion which has the tradition of barring the women and the Shudras from getting education. And that is not all. They are also barred from entering many temples and participating in the rituals. The British, by promulgating laws, had abolished many such cruel and barbaric traditions. By universalizing education, they broke the back of the ‘Streeshudronadheeyatam’ shruti, which says that education should not be imparted to women and Shudras. The first school for women and Shudras was established by Jotirao Phule, a Shudra himself, in Maharashtra. No Brahmin did that. In fact, the Brahmins were against educating women and Shudras. Jotirao Phule and his wife Savitri Phule, who was the first woman teacher of the country, were attacked for educating women and Shudras. It may be a surprise to the world that the Brahmins, who took pride in their tradition of thousands of years, did not educate even a single woman or Shudra till the British advent in India. But when the British opened the doors of education for all, Brahmins and the landlords took maximum advantage of this. Just go through any Hindi newspaper or magazine of that era and you will find in them pictures of women who did matriculation or completed their graduation. These pictures were published with great pride.

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