Blood

For some time, I have been in a dilemma about whether or not to write about the current controversy surrounding a couple of temples in India (and also the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai) denying women the right to enter or pray because they menstruate. Of course, the guardians of our Lords are giving us many theories and claiming that it’s not at all about menstruation… but…

As a woman, should I feel good about the hundreds of women breaking police barricades to climb into sanctums or should I feel nothing about the many who are appearing on television night after night for debates that lead nowhere? Should I feel bad about the women of my motherland fighting for the right to pray when there are so many other rights to be had — the right to choose what to wear, the right to walk where we want, the right to be safe in public spaces, the right to study, the right to work, the right to not want children… the list goes on. I am still stuck as my mind sways wildly, uncertain but surely disturbed.

I shall wait till the courts pass a ruling, I guess. Will it uphold taboo or will it push the country towards social, religious, cultural progress? Will it make a difference or will women themselves refrain from seeing their blood as life-giving, not evil? Will centuries of conditioning strike down what modernity underlines as advancement? Let’s wait and watch.

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