Kerala women sex only
Even for someone who was born and raised in India and who is accustomed to the conservative – read ‘patriarchal’ – traditions and beliefs that underpin our society, it is truly alarming to see men of all ages, their faces contorted in uncontrolled rage, attacking police, destroying property and vowing to fight to the enforcement of the law as prescribed by the Supreme Court.
As an Indian woman it never truly strikes you just how scary it is until you detach yourself from it all, and look at it from the outside.
Take the issue of dowry, for instance: dowry has been a crime in India since 1961 but remains widespread, practiced by everyone from Google engineers in Silicon Valley to farm laborers in the mountains of Kerala.
The defiance of the order by the Indian Supreme Court conveys the underlying cultural failings of Indian society that extends far beyond the issue of Sabarimala.
The two brave souls who dared to avail themselves of the spirituality of Sabarimala have since gone into hiding as protesters turned Kerala into a war zone calling for the ‘purification’ of the temple.
In response, millions of women formed a 620km long human chain in Kerala to demand equality.
The most harrowing stories are of those women who are married off by their families to successful expat Indians in the UK and elsewhere in the West – IT workers, bankers, engineers, management consultants.
The reason behind the ire of thousands upon thousands of men, from politicians to day labourers, is that two women – both in their 40s – had the audacity to enter Kerala’s 800-year-old Sabarimala Temple after India’s Supreme Court in September lifted a centuries-old ban on women aged 10 and 50 from entering the shrine.
According to local Hindu mythology, the deity to whom Sabarimala is dedicated – Lord Ayyappa – was celibate and so allowing access to women of ‘menstrual age’ would be disrespectful.
The organisation revealed that the procedure can be performed illegally for around 6,000 - 8,000 Indian rupees at many top hospitals in the state capital.
In addition to this, FGM was found to be available for only 4,000 Indian rupees at a clinic by the coastline in Kozhikode.