A Hindu Year 1

For India, we start the year with Hindus backed by the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party blocking women from entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala in violation of a Supreme Court judgment. (All the women wanted to do is to worship at the shrine.) This has gone on for months.

In response to repeatedly being prevented from entering  the temple in spite of the court judgement, according to a BBC report from yesterday, the women have formed a 620-kilometer “women’s wall” to demand equality. Other than the Left, still somewhat alive in parts of India (including the state government of Kerala), there seems to have been little reaction against this latest expression of Hindutva recidivism. But I would love to be corrected, especially by those self-identified Hindus who are willing to confront Hindutva.

(We should also note that the Hindus are not particularly different from most other major religions in discriminating against women. But, of course, when it comes to caste warfare and other modes of religious bigotry, Hindus today would probably hold many salient records for persecution in the contemporary world. But the Hindus do have challengers, for instance, the Buddhists of Burma/Mynamar and Thailand in India’s neighborhood besides the usual suspects elsewhere.)


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