02 May 2019
You want Big India or little india?
[Sri Lanka imposed its ban on Monday to help security forces identify people under an emergency law put in place after Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks in churches and hotels killed more than 250 people. “We welcome this decision and demand Prime Minister Narendra Modi follows in Sri Lanka’s footsteps and bans the burqa and niqab in India,” the Mumbai-based Shiv Sena party wrote in an editorial in the Saamana newspaper.] Reuters article - Shiv Sena calls for ban on the veil
I had a discussion with the head of Siva Senai here in Sri Lanka, on this matter. (We Hindus Mr Siva Senai ? – Don’t lie - at http://austms.blogspot.com/)
At the end of the discussion if we identify with each other’s truth – then there is a true relationship between us. A structure based on Truth serves and protects all who contribute to that structure. The positions in those structures are the sources of our authority and duty.
Shiv Sena by name is a Hindu organization. By law it is a political organization. When the two are combined – the territory covered by this organization is limited to Hindu politics and no more.
The structure through which we progress to the top denotes the boundaries within which we are assured of reliable returns.
The Guardian article ‘Hindu temples in southern India enforce western clothing ban’ carries these two messages:
[Hindu temples in southern India have begun turning away devotees wearing western clothes after a court order banning jeans and shorts as inappropriate for spiritual worship came into effect……………………………..
In Mumbai, a women’s rights group is fighting a legal battle to overturn a four-year ban on women entering Haji Ali Dargah, a Muslim shrine, where menstruation was cited as the reason for the restriction.]
The entry ban during menstruation was prevalent in our family circles also. As was the ban on junior castes entering temples. But the question is how would one practically monitor the entries to ensure that the law is actually upheld? In Hinduism it was left to the individual devotee. In Mumbai Islam – the whole of the female gender has been banned. Likewise, in Sri Lanka – the ban on burqa to cater to the comfort of the armed forces.
Women are victimized by such bans due their status being generally low. But the woman who respects the law and complies – get empowered to work the whole – including the males who make such laws.
In 2003 when I went through UNDP - to help the Tamil Tigers to develop civil administration, a strong Tiger supporter said to me to wear only Churitha or saree while I was working there. I thought about it – through the annoyance that this ‘telling’ caused me. In terms of society – as a professional - I was much higher than this supporter and that meant that the relationship was being wrongly positioned. Had I not resisted that wrong – I would have been infected by the temptations of high status with militants – at least in thought / imagination. My mind was low due to my discrimination pain at the University of NSW and due to the dismissal of my complaint to the Courts. But now I see a connection with all of these – starting with the resignation from my substantive position after hearing Ms Hanson on national TV on 10 August 1998. Now I believe that my call came from Nallur Murugan believers as this happened during Nallur Festival when my Energy levels were stronger than usual. By now due to my forbearance I was able to work the system through my truth. So, I overrode the Tiger supporter’s telling and wore western clothes – including pants and light jackets – as I did during summer here in Australia. I was well accepted by those with whom I worked and some expressly demonstrated respect for me. Just once an old lady who followed me while I was walking back to the office – said that if I were ‘caught wearing pants’ I would be in trouble. I quietly told her that female Tigers wore pants. After she was thus neutralised I asked her what she was really after ? She said Rs 200. I gave her Rs 100 and ‘told’ her not to play that trick again on anyone else.
In terms of Shiv Sena if they chose to tell Muslims what to wear and what not to wear – they lose the moral authority to carry Hindu name. In terms of Modi – if he is in partnership with Shiv Sena – he needs to stop celebrating Mahatma Gandhi whose base was his own truth which brought him universal connections and their empowerment. The Truth is common to all of us even though we seek that Truth through different pathways – including political pathways. Those who limit their nations to particular pathways – lose the connection with others to whom that nation is ‘home’. By believing in Gandhi and by following in Gandhi’s pathway of truth – I have become member of Big India whereas those enforcing their own religious laws on others get restricted to little india.