Of Men, Masculinity and God: Men’s God Kills Men or God’s Men Kill Men

16 Jan

Few weeks ago DG invoked the women of the world to rise and invent a new God who will love them and not discriminate against them. As the readers are aware of recent stampede in Sabarimala shrine hills; it is the same shrine that forbids entry of women. The entry to shrine is an annual event on various occasions during the year. Every believer is expected to make a pilgrimage to Sabarimala at least once in a life time, like Hajj is for Muslims. This pilgrimage requires men to fast for 41 days (vratham); abstain from meat, fish, alcohol, and tobacco, sex, using foul words, hair-cuts and shaving (borrowed from wikipedia). There after take an arduous 45km trek to the shrine through dense forests and hills to see the bachelor God.

DG assumes usually most shrines are at inaccessible heights not because it makes them near to God(s) as some assume God(s) live in the skies; but only committed few will ascend those heights. Taking an arduous journey would give a person an opportunity to contemplate their each step as a misstep could be fatal. In other words such a journey would be a conscious one where one would ponder about the purpose of their life, its direction and their actions. With the advancements in the technology and shortage of time some people are making part of the journey by vehicles through an alternative route before they can climb the hills. If according God(s) user manual do taking short cuts qualify to claim prayer benefits is not known to DG.* It was jeep full of devotees that ran over pedestrian devotees and then other devotees stampede the other devotees (can we blame women here?? May be a lustful thought of a woman distracted the jeep driver). There are many other shrines where even choppers are used to expedite the pilgrimage and those the children of lesser God(s) ride donkey or walk their way to the hearts of God(s). If fasting could be outsourced to the poor, they would jump to the opportunity to make little money to eat after fasting but they’ll die of starvation and no one can be blamed but God(s). It seems like a foolproof way of eliminating the poverty, eliminate the poor but that is already in practice since 1947 by the state economic policies.

If 41 days of fasting and 45 Km arduous hike did not bring out humility and kindness in a person then DG wonders what else could. May be she is wrong may be religiously charged masculinities ought to be immune to humility and kindness, they ought to be courageous and fearsome.** Resources suggest it all started with foul words. May be foul words are proscribed only until one sees the God(s) seated in the temple, on the way back they can revert back to their usual behavior ASAP. Women be happy that you are proscribed entry or you would have been mince meat in this stampede. If you still have suicide ideation there is no dearth of religious opportunities you don’t have to wait for next Kumbh Mela just check these place and visit them; you’ll die religiously and families will be compensated.

Different devotees perform different rituals for different purposes depending on their need and relationship with the God(s)/divine. All those thousands of men making this pilgrimage had some intention best known to them. Some in them would have even assumed taking this pilgrimage would ensure their seat in the heavens near God(s). Those killed in the stampede made it to heaven DG is not sure, but those they left behind (families) will definitely live a living hell for rest of their lives as they’ll miss them dearly. May be the loss will be lessened by the tax payer paid compensations that local government is announcing and opposition is demanding to make it up to Rs. 1 million from Rs. 500,000 knowing there are no funds available in bankrupt coffers. It is just like using the credit card in the Great Americas; you buy the stuff you don’t need with the money you don’t have. These are just announcements will the monies reach the deserving hands is questionable, but it will definitely boost the parallel economy of bribe takers. The shrine management has Rs.100,000 (1 USD= Rs. 45.00) accident insurance policy for the pilgrims and that is it. It has not uttered a word about giving anything to the injured and the dead. Why should they it was all between the men and God(s), those in need should directly approach the God(s), management refuses to broker this sacred relationship between men and God(s).

It is known the Sabarimala shrine receives millions and millions of dollars in offerings every year. Few dissident voices are challenging the maintenance of shrine camp grounds and the services provided to the visitors. What ever arrangements are made for the devotees are inadequate and definitely not safe. The shrine management has Rs.100,000 (1 USD= Rs. 45.00) accident insurance policy for the pilgrims and that is it. It has not uttered a word about giving anything to the injured and the dead. Why should they it was all between the men and God(s), those in need should directly approach the God(s), management refuses to broker this sacred relationship between men and God(s).

Then there are some pointing fingers at the government for not doing enough for the devotees and not providing enough security forces. DG wonders why it should be the responsibility of the state to provide services and workforce for religious functions. India is a secular state, if any religious group thinks they need state services and workforce to help them efficiently run the show then they should pay up. That is how events take place in here, if a community fears there could a trouble at the event it hires private security and even pays the city to send police guards and paramedics. It should be the responsibility of the event organizers that they make sure they do not break the traffic or other laws. It seems the religious fervor is pain in the neck of the tax payer.

Did the God(s) play any role in this self-aggrandizement show of masculinity or they just sat silent to let the men, masculinity and murder play on its own. Then there will be some who’ll own the God…

*Some people think God(s) is like a car. It has to be used according to the user manual (following the rituals) in order to claim insurance benefits (prayers being answered) or the failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions will lead to denial of claims (prayers unanswered).

A co blogger is still upset in 2011 coz’ she thinks her life is in mess as God(s) are not listening to her. DG has been wondering if God(s) she thinks are her employees on wager (prayers) so they ought to perform the job to her satisfaction.

** The feminine nature of women (kind, delicate temperament, frail gait and fearfulness) is used against them to forbid entry to the shrine.

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9 Responses to “Of Men, Masculinity and God: Men’s God Kills Men or God’s Men Kill Men”

  1. shail February 4, 2011 at p02 #

    The temples are administered by Dewaswam Boards.
    The day-to-day administration is to be looked after by an Administrator appointed by the Government of Kerala.

    “….The Board is merged with the Government of Kerala and as such the organisation has been deemed unconstitutional, since the so-called “secular” Government is running and profiting from a major religious organisation.” (Wikipedia)
    That’s where the responsibility of the government comes to provide services and workforce for religious functions in Kerala. The government has its hands in the tills of all the rich temples. So it does have a responsibility.

    All this talk of 41 days of abstinence and kilometers of trek are mostly things of the past. You will find hordes of people going who do not sport a beard. They go and are back before 24 hours have gone by (from Trivandrum). Government officials in charge of administration go there without any fast or vratham, I should know, my father has accompanied the Minister in charge years back in his capacity as an IAS officer. There has been a hue and cry recently, when it was found that in some year a woman had been to the shrine in an official capacity, when women aren’t supposed to go :P

    Personally, I do not understand or approve the hype certain temples create. Of course, each one to their own. But I stay well out of it. I would be interested in visiting one if it is aesthetically or historically appealing, not because of any divinity associated with the temple. If woman aren’t allowed in Sabarimala, well and good, let the men keep the temple for themselves :P I am not going abegging to be let in! ;) Being true to your own self, well, that’s enough for me.

    @Shail,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Yes, to each their own unless someone steps on my toes :) .
    DG has given women a suggestion if they feel left out in Sabarimala stampede then they can go to get killed at any other crowded and mismanaged religious shrine where women are permitted entry.

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  2. anjugandhi January 20, 2011 at p01 #

    i know of such a devotee who observes all the rituals , no shaving, vegetarian food, away from drinks, wife, foul language etc
    and once the ordeal is over he is back to his drinking abusive language, wife beating
    may be he goes to sabrimala to wash his sins of one full year, clean his slate and clear his account to start new account
    what is the point of showing off of this devotion

    Me too, DG lived with one such devotee :) who burnt 1kg ghee a month to please the Gods to grant him immunity to yelling screaming and wife beating. :)

    Show off is very important startegy to discredit the abused when they open their mouth in the public. How could such a God fearing man abuse his wife…

    Like this

  3. Elizabeth January 17, 2011 at p01 #

    “If 41 days of fasting and 45 Km arduous hike did not bring out humility and kindness in a person then DG wonders what else could. May be she is wrong may be religiously charged masculinities ought to be immune to humility and kindness, they ought to be courageous and fearsome”

    When people take God as their employer who is expected to provide whatever whenever we demand something, where is the place for humility, kindness or even basic humanity ?

    Sabarimala is like the chicken who lays golden eggs.Many of them are interested only in looting the money rather than think of the poor devotees who take a lot of sacrifice to come there.

    As a person who stays near Sabarimala, I can confess that I get to travel in good roads because they repair them every year :)

    @Elizabeth,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    God as employer or employee? Yes, “want” leaves no room for patience and humility. It is “want” that is equated as right and needs go out of the window.
    Everyone knows what they want but very few can tell what they need.

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  4. gallas January 17, 2011 at p01 #

    God finds it easy here. There’s so little value for life that his followers became insensitive and rest have their own agenda.

    Like this

  5. Vivek January 17, 2011 at p01 #

    Nice change from the usual menu ;)

    God exists only if u need something ;)

    And for those who feel that God is not helping them, the please be aware that:

    God gives you what you deserve because only he(sic)
    knows what is best for you.

    And lastly, its not revert back but just revert.

    Thanks for the correction. :)
    Fully agree. carefully word the prayers they can come true any time. :) Yes DG’s kitchen serves dish in different platters :) Choices are eat it or leave it

    Like this

  6. Mysticspirit January 17, 2011 at p01 #

    Desi girl, love your biting wit and sarcasm. Your comments on the nature of religious rituals, meant only for men in this case ( and of course many other cases as well) as also on the dastardly mismanagement of the whole event echoes my sentiments. The bile still rises up in my throat when I read the paper and find news about 102 people being killed in the stampede, on the 6th page. It is not as important as the news about Anil Ambani running the Bombay Marathon. Disgusting.
    Yes – any women who felt left out of the Samarimala pilgrimage(too holy for us lowly women beings) can opt for Kumbh mela or any number of other stampede guaranteed, badly organised exercises in discomfort and unholiness in which to die and go to heaven (hopefully a heaven where men and women have equal rights at least) and have your family be compensated by the state government for your untimely death. Just a thought – why doesn’t the government use that money that they give for compensation, as a preventive. Perhaps they could monitor the number of people allowed into a ground ? Well, how would it help? Those who want to die on a pilgrimage will die on a pilgrimage instead of being civilised and not pushing and shoving.

    Government can’t use the monies they dole out for compensations to strengthen preventive measures because a compensation is payed once and is done with where as preventive measures are a regular expenditure and workforce that is more expensive. Compensation also strengthens parallel economy of bribery, also stampedes are evolutionary herd thinning mechanism in nature, it works for all :) .

    Like this

  7. Bikram January 17, 2011 at p01 #

    well religion is not meant for people of this world..

    I had gone to the gurudwara today and this preacher was explaining a few things when he said that RELIGION IS NOT MEANT FOR THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD anymore…

    we dont deserve religion and as such we have shreded it to tetheres so wht does it matter if its 45 km walk or its going to all takhts and pad yatras

    its all a dhakosla.. as they say Muh main raam bagal main churi…

    we change our gods depending on situation.. some god is money, sometimes women, sometimes the idol in a temple.

    i can go on and on and on .. bascially we EACH one of us has lost the BASIC HUMANITY…

    Bikram’s

    To each there own… What ever works for who ever. You are right, some will change God(s) like shirts on their backs and some will keep the God(s) in their pockets and then there will be others who’ll pay wagers to the God(s). DG could not figure out what has God(s) got to do with religion. :)
    DG can’t accept the sweeping statement that EACH one of us has lost the BASIC HUMANITY coz’ it was not for the basic or extra ordinary humanity of some she wouldn’t be sitting here and blogging. Her life is a shinning example of kindness and humanity of other people.

    Like this

    • Sex And The Indian Cities January 17, 2011 at p01 #

      DG :I normally try to stay away from any discussions related to god and religion and also frm over crowded religious places …I go to gurudwara at an hour when i am unlikely to find someone , love churches and always bow at any adir masjid i come across ..and thats the end of my pilgrimages .

      And I totally agree why should state pay for religious ceremonies , let the temples / religious authorities pay ..or may be u can only offer money to a religious place you cannot demand your money back or protection ..God will get offended .

      To each their own ..M happy to pray from the comfort of my house ..and my God is happy with it ..May be other people have tougher God to please :)

      At time it feels people really mean business when the talk God. For DG every thing has to start and end with Kindness and Compassion, or else nothing matters. :)
      Yes, you and me have a happy GOD who loves us unconditionally. :)

      Like this

    • Bikram January 18, 2011 at p01 #

      Then you surly live in a extraordinary world.. the world i live and see is what i wrtie about …

      It is not a sweeping statement ITS THE TRUTH and truth always hurts… exceptions here and there is not the WAY OF LIFE…

      Have you ever been in a crowd.. in that crowd if someone says All the people here are IDIOTS.. then if you see the people who TALK THE MOST .. and start to shout and howl over how dare someone say that.. ARE ACTUALLY THE IDIOTS.. its the one who are quiet .. the ones who dont say the ones to look out for ..

      Cause they know the time now is to keep shut.. SAME WAY religion the people who talk a lot are the ones who have something to hide .. but its the quiet ones who jsut go about …

      and now coming to sweeping statement cause ITS BECAUSE the ones who do good things are 1 or 2 but with millions around who are worthless.. so the statement is in that respect…

      ONE PERSON doing good IS NOT GOOOD .. and please dont tell me thats its a start and all that pallava …

      Of course DG lives in a world that has so much potentional and possibilities. She may have met 50 bad apples in her short life but thousands of kind souls. She believes in co creation of reality. Think positive and you beget positive.
      Yes, people get free reign in the crowd they can do wild things that they can not even think about on their own. Crowd brings out their wild fantasies out like wise it is on the net, look at the trash people are searching for.
      DG has learned one thing if one is living consciously and is self aware then their needs are easily met and wants wont run them over and they won’t need to talk needlessly like the loud mouths you mentioned.

      Like this

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