Skip to comments.Indian Temple Admits Women for First Time in 900-Year History
Posted on 07/27/2014 4:16:56 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Twelfth-century Hindu temple breaks with tradition after Supreme Court rules against two Brahmin families who have claimed exclusive ancestral rights to choosing priests for centuries
A twelfth-century Hindu temple that attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims annually is to admit women and lower-caste men as priests for the first time.
The historic break with tradition came about after India's Supreme Court ruled against the two Brahmin families, Badve and Utpat, who had provided the temple's priests for centuries.
The court ruled against their claim to exclusive ancestral rights over the earnings and rituals at Vitthal Rukmini temple, in the town of Pandharpur in Maharastra state.
The Hindu Newspaper described the decision as: "The 900-year-old place of worship... challenging the entrenched tradition of patriarchy and casteism in one stroke."
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Wome and low castes. What next? Left handeds??
I have no right to a real opinion, due to the fact that I’m quite ignorant about Hinduism, but -— if this temple group believes it proper to recognize distinctions of caste and sex, should a government really be able to butt in and say “you can’t practice your faith anymore”?
Outbreaks of caste violence in India are never far away. India also has a massive number of communists, including in the government, that have no problem using force. There’s more here than meets the eye.
I have the same knee-jerk response, but I’m not a Hindu and I’m not an Indian, so I’ve got to concede that I don’t understand what’s going on here.
I was reading an article about a situation in India a few weeks ago and it hit me. We’re talking about a very old country with 1.2 BILLION people. They’ve got regions that are fully westernized and regions that are stuck in the brutal dark ages and everything in between.
I’m going to have to let Indians deal with India, but I appreciate your way of thinking.
Most countries have realized government is the real religion, and all other religion is subordinate.
In one state in India, the percentage of the population that is Baptist is higher than that of any U.S. state. (In the U.S., Mississippi has the highest percentage of Baptists)
too bad the muzzies didn’t turn it into a mosque. the courts would be afraid to intervene.
Which is to say, most governments tend toward totalitarianism, the idolatry of power.
The First Commandment:
“I am the Lord your GOVERNMENT, who brought you into slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" --- when Caesar claims everything.
“Indian Temple Admits Women for First Time in 900-Year History”
Correction: Indian temple forced to admit women for first time in 900-year history.
Just in case anyone got the impression that Hindus were abandoning their faith...
The caste system sorts people into permanent poverty and lack of basic rights or high social standing based only on the position of the family they were born into. There is no “moving up” in society. Hopefully, this will end it, but it will take time. The best thing to happen to India was foreign firms building factories there, and promoting employees into management irrespective of caste. It’s helping to break the system.
Le's not forget that Marx happily identified capitalism as the greatest wrecker of traditional cultures in history, fundamentally altering all aspects of society, customs, local tradition, ideas of right livelihood, religious faith, and even the family, destroying stable ways of life and smaller-scale (e.g. village) cultures and creating enormous cities ripe for socialism.
The Government of India has for the past 60 odd years broken down caste shackles by affirmative action in favour of the “lower castes”. So much so that it is from these castes that a low of politicians now rise up. A case in point - India’s new Prime Minister, a man for whom most “upper castes” voted for. Foreign companies have very little to do with this.
I didn’t know the Indians were Jewish. Must have been the tribes around Manhattan,
A caste system backed by religion justifies feudal hierarchy.
“I’m in charge because I’m descended from the conquerors and my bloodline is better than yours, you are inferior because of your bloodline and can’t rise up”. And merit doesn’t matter.
There was a genetic study that showed more mobility of mitochondrial DNA than the Y-chromosome showing that women could marry up for a time, before the caste system locked in place. And that completely fits with a conquering male army intermarrying with local girls until there are enough upper class daughters for their sons or grandsons to marry.
“I have no right to a real opinion, due to the fact that Im quite ignorant about Hinduism, but - if this temple group believes it proper to recognize distinctions of caste and sex, should a government really be able to butt in and say you cant practice your faith anymore?”
The peculiar nature of caste discrimination & the need to break it means that the Indian constitution & the Courts have taken a much more harder line on matters pertaining to Hinduism. So much so that civil laws for Hindus (India allows for separate laws under the civil code -governing marriage & inheritance etc) is pretty much the same as secular laws elsewhere whereas the Christians & especially the Muslims, are governed by religious code to a point where Hindu women have more rights under the “Hindu” laws that Muslim women have under the “Sharia”- (civil not criminal) or the Christian women have under the “Christian” laws. The courts are far more reluctant to interfere in the laws of the minorities than in those of the majority. Christian women (occasionally also Muslim women) have filed cases against parts of their religion based codes essentially arguing that their rights as Indian citizens protected by the constitution should override any religion derived law and asking for the same rights that Hindu women have. Both the Christian and muslim clergy are seen as the main blockers in these matters, resisting change.
However, one general observation: religion is a matter of choice. If I don't want to be a Hindu, I can be a Baptist (and many have made that conversion.) If I don't want to be a Catholic, I can be a Buddhist. I can be an atheist. Any law restricting religion, is in actually a law restricting my religious choice or my religious "free exercise" rights, to put it in American constitutional terms.
So a government that states: your clergy shall be selected in such-and-such a manner, your temple rites shall be carried out thus-and-so, your ethics (even assuming they don't involve force or fraud) shall conform to pages 160 - 803 of the government religious licensing code: this is not empowering to people. This is the forcible suppression of religious free exercise.
It makes it impossible for anyone to live in the manner of their traditions, by substituting conformity in the face of coercive government power (in the name of liberation) for the actual liberty to choose.
In one of the USSC cases involving the Amish, one Justice complained that an Amish kid who would have had the interest and the talent to become a concert pianist, would never become one with a traditional Amish education. He failed to mention that if you abolish traditional Amish education, nobody would have the glorious untrammeled freedom to live their lives as Amish.
They wouldn't even have freedom of association!
So that's my general attitude: as long as there's no force or fraud, let these religious groups live their lives by their own best practices--- not yours.
As long as those practices are not seen as conflicting with the constitution & the laws of the land. In this case, the claim to exclusive ancestral rights on the temple was rejected & the temple then goes under the control of the state government which appoints as per their rules. Specific rules could have continued only if that right of control was upheld.
Oh, to be sure. And as long as the constitution does not conflict with Natural Law. Because: all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; among these are the Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; and it is to secure these rights that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
I don't see how government seizure of a temple of religion, and the re-writing of their rituals, doctrines and customs, accords with Natural Law.
Certainly positive law -- the laws of the state --- cannot be supreme. That is the premise of totalitarianism.
“Because: all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”
That is an American viewpoint, the Indian constitution & the arms of the state are not guided by the belief that rights flow from a “creator”. Those rights, for Indians, flow from the constitution. Considering that Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism have a strong atheistic streak (Hinduism has the streak, the other two are openly atheistic), most people have much less problem with that than they would in the U.S.
There's no doubt that this is debatable, since it has historically sparked great debates through the centuries.
However, as far as I know, all the great religions promote the Golden Rule, at least in its negative form: "Do not do to others, what you would not have them do to you." So, by implication, if you don't want the State to take over some ancient indigenous institution which you revere, without a vote, without compensation--- and which is far older than the State --- redefine it, and then presume tell you the meaning of life (which is what religion does) --- then don't do that to somebody else.
Do you want the State to run your religion? Fine. But others wouldn't be so foolish to subordinate the older, more foundational institution to the necessarily transient gang of guys with guns known at the State.
I agree with what you have said generally but the case here is a bit more nuanced. The state does not interfere in private bodies running temples, only those where there is no such body or where the rights to run the temples by those private bodies have been successfully challenged in a court of law. When passed into state control, customs that previously were used do not stand. That would be the case here.
Perhaps analogous to what happened in the Western Ukraine, when the USSR handed over all the Catholic Ukrainian Churches to the Orthodox during the Stalin era. The Orthodox at that point were the sole licensed liturgists for the State. That was their argument --- that the Catholic Church was not the legitimate owner-operator of these churches. But I think that was a usurpation by the State.
“Perhaps analogous to what happened in the Western Ukraine, when the USSR handed over all the Catholic Ukrainian Churches to the Orthodox during the Stalin era. The Orthodox at that point were the sole licensed liturgists for the State. That was their argument -— that the Catholic Church was not the legitimate owner-operator of these churches. But I think that was a usurpation by the State.”
This was a stand alone case making its way through the judicial system for nearly 4 decades before it was finally ruled on by India's Supreme Court. Hardly a simple case of usurpation by the state.
I guess I would understand better if I knew anything about the case, which I admittedly don’t. Am I correct that this involves just one temple?
that’s in Mizoram. I think it is 97% baptist
Yes. Only one temple.