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Letters to the Editor

Print edition : Feb 15, 2019 T+T-

Sabarimala politics

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THE Cover Story (February 1) excellently summed up the happenings in Kerala over the Sabarimala issue, including the way in which vested interests blew it out of proportion.

The controversy over Sabarimala can be a case study to understand the multiplicity of bondages among communities in Kerala.

The state and religion should remain separate. However, the government should definitely play a proactive role in persuading religious and social groups to change with the times. The problem starts when such groups get the feeling that some outside force is imposing changes on them and political interests exploit the emotions of devotees for their own ends.

M.G. Warrier

Mumbai

AMID the cacophony and doublespeak surrounding the Sabarimala issue, it was heartening to read the sane and wide-ranging debate in the Cover Story.

This is reminiscent of the famous temple entry movements in which Mahatma Gandhi himself participated and achieved partial success in Kerala. Under the Sangh-led hysteria, history as historians see it is the casualty.

H. Pattabhirama Somayaji

Mangaluru, Karnataka

THE Sabarimala issue should not be viewed in the light of gender equality alone. While several people argue that it is a form of discrimination, as a woman I do not feel so.

Each temple and religion follows certain tenets, which need to be respected. The statement of the dissenting Supreme Court judge, Justice Indu Malhotra, that “notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion” assumes significance in this context.

Vidhya B. Ragunath

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Kerala , the most literate State in India, has long been an epitome of religious harmony. The Cheraman Masjid, reportedly the oldest mosque in the country, was built by a Hindu king.

Unlike most other temples in India where non-Hindus are prohibited from entering, the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala is a secular shrine where people of all faiths are allowed to pray. There is no bar on non-menstruating women either. There are temples in India where men are not allowed to enter. Muslim women are not allowed to enter Sunni mosques in Kerala. And there are sceptics among Christians who do not believe in the Resurrection.

In a land with thousands of temples, churches and mosques and where forms of worship differ from place to place, the apex court would be ill-advised to impose its morality or rationality on faith and worship.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan

Chennai

IT is sad to note that today Sabarimala has become a battleground. The controversy over the entry of women into the temple cannot be taken lightly. People in the Asian region have a strong tendency to take religious issues seriously. Therefore, it is the responsibility of governments and those in authority to deal with these difficult issues.

It is understandable that people want to stick with traditional ways.

Any kind of gender bias in terms of temple entry only creates problems and public disturbance. After all, religion is for people to seek solace. Let there be no barriers of gender, caste or colour in religion.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai

Mumbai

KUDOS to the two bold women devotees, Bindu and Kanakadurga, who entered the sanctum santorum of the Sabariamala temple (”Kerala in turmoil after women enter Sabarimala”, January 3). A new dimension has been created in gender equality.

N.C. Sreedharan

Kannur, Kerala

Reservation

THE 10 per cent quota policy is a cruel joke being played by the BJP to remain in power (“Zero-sum game”, February 1). It will be disastrous for the economic and social development of the country. It seems no government can survive without reservation policies.

The economically weaker sections need more opportunities, but the solution is not reservation for everyone.

M. Kumar

New Delhi

The CBI

CBI Director Alok Verma being shown the door came as a bolt from the blue for the opposition parties, including the Congress (“Back in the cage”, February 1). However, the decision to shunt Verma out of the CBI in order to ensure a free, fair and impartial probe into the allegations of corruption against him was appropriate in the given situation.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Telangana

Big brother state

Allowing investigating agencies that are under the direct or indirect control of the Prime Minister’s Office to have access to any computer is only one of the steps taken by the Prime Minister to keep all people in a state of fear and to suppress his opponents.

Almost all the democratic institutions in the country have been hobbled and tamed to do his bidding. Anyone daring to go against him is not only ousted but also faces the threat of being investigated for criminal misconduct, a charge imagined by agencies loyal to the Prime Minister.

The removal from office of CBI chief Alok Verma with the cooperation of the Central Vigilance Commission is the most recent glaring instance of this.

M.N. Bhartiya

Alto-Porvorim, Goa