Tag Archives: Sabarimala

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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