The response and the general attitude towards the whole sabarimala controversy lends itself to garnering support from anyone who wants India to move on from the regressive superstitions and beliefs that it continues to find itself bound within. It is almost as if a Mandir controversy or religious riots or a ghastly rape has to be a precursor to any progress that India wants to make. It is Bharat or Hindustan reminding us that they are very much a part of Modern India.
For Bharat or Hindustan, the idea that the female, the atheist, the individual with the power to ‘desecrate’, the non-hindu or the non-upper-caste person be allowed into what a handful of temple trustees believe to be hallowed ground is a huge win.
For Modern India, this win does not gain anything in terms of change. For many, many reasons.
On the spiritual side,
Modern India is the people who have already called out eons ago the ridiculousness of believing in the hallowed powers of God and then believing that such hallowed powers can be diluted by the kind of people visiting it.
It is the ridiculousness of believing that what is essentially a stone statue would have such power.
It is the ridiculousness of believing one God at one location could have different powers than any other one.
It is the ridiculousness of living with stories of ancestors meditating under random trees in order to have God visit them and then turning around and believing that God lives in these temples we build for them.
It is the ridiculousness of living in a land where Gautam Buddha is supposed to have gained enlightenment by gaining control over his mind and body and then turning around and believing that God is an external entity exists in temples and mosques.
It is the ridiculousness of living with the many contradictions on the idea of God within one religion and yet being able to ignore every contradiction in order to believe the one you want to.
While Bharat and Hindustan fought external forces in order to gain its foothold in History, Modern India’s battle is with the legacy of Bharat and Hindustan. And the ability of the people to find the narrowest strain of history that can back their ideology and not accept the contradicting history that exists in plain sight.
On the feminine rights side,
The fight for women’s rights in India has very little to do with the Bharat/Hindustan/India dichotomy. It has to do with the fact that irrespective of what one wants Modern India to be, the status of the woman remains unchanged. That is the crux of the women’s rights movement in India.
It is not just to change the societal expectations of her, it is to change her expectations of herself.
To fight back every kind of mental conditioning that does not allow her to accept all that she already is. An equal.
It is 2018. Progress can no longer be defined by whether the religious places are open to everyone. Progress is being able to acknowledge that religion no longer has a place in modern thought. Other than to acknowledge what has thus far been unacknowledge-able. Progress is being able to acknowledge that social constructs only exist as mental conditioning. Progress is being able to universally acknowledge the forces that exist, to garner knowledge about them, to understand how they work and how they have been used in the existence of mankind. Religion and God are just one small milestone in that journey.