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“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness”. ~ Karl Marx.

If we stand on the platform that Marx established then we can have a clear view of how Sabarimala fight is “not just for women” but it is also “for the politics of the state”. Oppression itself, in the present state, is the fundamental product of politics and we cannot deny that after witnessing oppression of Dalits, women and poor in the name of religion based politics. Forget who is Ayyappa or any other Lord and just focus on the politics that has been established by a coalition of more than one party. Today Sabarimala issue is a clear fight for the women of India and it is to be supported but in contrast, should we forget that how easy it is for the political party to establish a double game out of a single issue.

I don’t want to enter the issue of religion, for it is a place which is way more dirty than any other issue. As we all know, that the political parties which are obsessed with religious politics, and it can be Hinduism or Muslim or Christianity etc., can itself create religion as an easy means to pierce women empowerment with the help of politics. Present scenario of politics runs like this which shapes India as the most unsafe country in the world. Politics gives birth to a chain which runs from power to oppression. Fight over Sabarimala in itself constructs an easy road for the coalition of different party to walk to power. As the Communist Party fights with the Constitution as its armour, BJP, RSS and Congress fights against the Constitution in the name of faith. We all know that India runs on the wheel of religion and so it is a critical point where we should decide that how serious could be the impact of this coalition for Kerala to stay safe from being a patriarchal state because no matter which party comes in power after the 2019 election (heart believes in Communist Party), a change could be drastic for the state in each and every way.

India today stands in the back foot, for its own fault, and the fight over Sabarimala can be a changing point and the feminists should keep this in mind because India needs feminism but at the same time, it cannot lose Communist Party in Kerala which fights for feminism. For me, the issue still appears to be a nonsense one because why should feminism strictly focus on religion when it is the most fundamental reason for the oppression of women? Discrimination over religion is the most relevant and crystal clear thing if we keep feminism in our mind because feminism always fights against the oppressive religion.

No matter whether it is Ayyappa or Shiva or Jesus or Muhammad, every religion comes to one central point: Oppression of women and poor. Hinduism works in multiple angles to oppress women for its Brahminian oppressive philosophy. Christianity stands against women for the blasphemy of the need of division (during its early years, Christianity taught a spiritual unity that at least potentially mitigated the harshness of Roman law, in which women were considered non-citizens with no legal rights. Inequality was everywhere in this system, for example, while men’s adultery was assumed, women’s was punishable by death). Islam gives birth to violence against women in the name of beating of wives which is still prevalent and their oppression in the name of rights and overburdened work. As we work on the statistics of the mass which believes in oppression, we can see that except the urban and rural areas near urban areas, only few areas exist where women know about the blasphemy and oppressive religion.

In a nation, which has got its illiteracy rate of 70%, I still don’t get how can the educated intellectuals ignore the utilisation of politics by the BJP, RSS and Congress to bring the devotees together as one entity and to bring a tension in the whole nation in the name of faith! The nation which hardly works to bring down the illiteracy level has got the mass, in maximum, which never bothers to care about the Constitution as they believe religion is the only truth. Today when Sabarimala issue burns as breaking news, four women got gang raped in one night and for me, that should be the biggest concern rather than an opium named religion. It is not about “Why should women be denied to enter during their menstrual period in Sabarimala?” rather the bigger picture that pops out of the issue is that “Politics today is being played over menstruation interlinking it with religion” and that is the saddest thing. The country which is still deprived of napkins for women in rural areas during menstruation just because of religious immorality, a serious fight to be beneath the umbrella of the same oppressive religion is the biggest irony!

Menstruation is not impure and it cannot be because it is a biological phenomenon which is responsible for our birth. Obscenity is when political parties find a woman’s menstruation as the biggest issue to play politics on and no one cares to establish the clear picture of political obscenity. Parties which established the hashtag trend of “Love Jihad”, “Moral Policing”, “No Valentines Day”, “No New Year Celebration”, “Mass Molestation” today works to bring the devotees of Ayyappa which are many in number to declare a war against the state in the name of celibacy to fight against feminism. So, the bigger question here is, should our focus be more on the strengthening of the political scenario of the country after the honourable Supreme Court eradicated the ban on the entry of women in any religious institution since it violates the Articles 14, 15, 17, 25, 26 of the Constitution or should we keep on giving opportunities to the political parties to establish a way more strong foundation of patriarchy in the state and country to play politics on menstruation?

At last, since religion is the opium of the masses, so a more serious fight on Sabarimala may create a crack over Kerala which would be a worse scenario for women empowerment and political organisations of Kerala! For me, feminism is a better platform than religion because the former works on human rights while the latter breaks human rights to create war. Constitutional battle should be kept on the hands of the law rather than giving the opportunists an easy road to attain power using the opium of our nation. Feminism, for me, stands against religion and works for reformation.

Kabir Deb is a published writer and poet. Born in Haflong and completed his Masters on Life Sciences from Assam University. His work has been published from different national and international magazine like Different Truths, Counter Currents, Reviews, Cafe Dissensus, Spillwords magazine and his works rely on political activism.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Red News | Protestation

  2. Mary Metzger says:

    I am glad you wrote this article – that you cared enough about the status of women to write it.

    According to the Dialectic everything is internally related, so that capitalism, religion and patriarchy (and racism) are all but different dimensions of the same thing. Thus we cannot hold one separate from the other, but must understand that as we must fight all dimensions simultaneously. Religion supports the dominant class (where it is not itself the dominant class), patriarchy supports the dominance of males in all classes, and racism is reflected in and as class divisions.

    It is too bad that the women of Kerala had fought and were persecuted for demanding equality within the Hindu religion, rather than turning their backs on the religion which is itself mere mystification. The conception of women as “the inferior other” needed only for sex and reproduction, lies at the core of all religions….all of them. Women can worship their god or gods without the need for any organized religion.

    Mary