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Is it A Crime to Menstruate?

December 17, 2010

photo credit: Ramendra Singh Bhadauria ©. Goddess Kamakya of Assam in Eastern India, during her menstrual time

In December 2010, Indian actress, Jayamala was investigated by the Crimes Branch of the police, on order of the Kerala state government in India, and then officially charged with violating Indian law.

Her crime, it seems, is to belong to a gender that menstruates!

She was charged under Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code for “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feeling of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.”

What was Jayamala’s “deliberate and malicious” act?

Her crime was she visited a certain temple, about 23 years ago, when she  18 years old, because she  wanted to worship there.

And why did this simple act of devotion “outrage” some people? Why was it so “insulting” to them?

Because this particular temple, like many others in India has an old rule.  No female who is menstruating can enter the temple. Menstruating girls and women in most sections of Indian society are viewed as “unclean” and “polluting,”  like a garbage heap, a rotting compost, or noxious traffic fumes would be. Females who are menstruating are said to “pollute” the environment they enter. And since the temple is a sacred precinct, the only way to keep it ‘clean’ is to keep the pollutants out. To ensure that no pollutants enter the temple, the temple made a law that no female between the age of 10 years and 50 years (the menstruating years) can worship at the shrine.

Hence, Jayamala, by violating this temple rule, at the age of 18, more than 23 years ago, had polluted the temple, had “insulted” and “outraged” the public’s ‘feelings’, and was answerable to the police and judiciary.

Her “crime” was discovered when the temple was conducting a routing “astrological” investigation into rituals of worship at the temple. The investigation revealed that these rituals had been hampered because of some woman having entered the sanctum. Terrified of the implications, poor Jayamala “admitted” to her ‘crime’ and then said that she had entered “accidentally” when she got pushed in by the milling crowds.

This called for further investigations by the Crimes Branch of the Police under order of the state government!

They decided that the temple steps lead up to the sanctum, and there is no way that Jayamala could have been pushed into that space. The police concluded that she had lied, and charged her with making a “fake” claim, and with Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code for “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feeling of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.”

Except for a small section of Indians, who are chewing on their nails in frustration at such outrageous bigotry and violation of a person’s right to worship freely, there is not much public sympathy for Jayamala in India.  As a journalist in a prominent English newspaper in India observes, “Is it possible to strictly apply modern categories like gender rights in matters of faith? Can we overturn an established tradition in the name of gender equality? In fact, many believers including women will refuse to read a gender question in the custom. There is nothing sexist in the practice as the temple allows the entry of girls below 10 and women above 50 years. A legal intervention is unlikely to change this situation, as it is an issue of tradition and faith.”

This notion of menstruating women being “unclean” and “polluting” is upheld by most across all strata of Indian society — rural and urban, educated and illiterate, rich and poor.   Women are often forbidden from entering certain rooms in the house, approaching certain people and engaging in certain activities.  In some homes they are isolated in a separate room.  If they mistakenly do something or enter some place they are not supposed to, then there needs to be a cleansing ritual to “purify” the place!  Even Gandhi used to say that menstruation was a manifestation of the distorted souls of women because of their sexuality.  He believed that when women’s souls were pure, then they would automatically stop menstruating.

What lies at the root of this insanity?

Could it be fear?

A deep, morbid, collective, psychotic fear – one that is rooted way back in the history and culture of India?

Some of the  ancient texts of India, such as the Vedas, that date back to more than 2000 years, indicate that “Menstrual blood was regarded as one of the most evil manifestations of a woman’s power. It was believed that during the moon god’s wedding, his bride had managed to capture him in her red and purple bridal gown and left a permanent imprint on him, which trapped him in her powers…The menstrual blood was [regarded to be] a wild and evil animal…that could burn, bite, scratch, poison and even kill a man. The blood from the rupturing of the hymen was similarly considered dangerous [to the man], and after the wedding night, the blood-stained bridal dress would be handed to the priest, who ripped it up and fed it to the ceremonial flames to rid the bride of her evil powers.” (Rita Banerji, Sex and Power Penguin Global, 2009, pg.49)

The question now is:  Is this fear – this deep rooted fear of female sexuality— that which underlies not just events like the criminalization of Jayamala’s plain act of worship, but the larger issue of systematic violence towards girls and women in India?

Is it this collective/ historic fear of female sexuality that is driving this totally irrational, systematic, mass annihilation of women in India?

50 million women ruthlessly exterminated in three generations!! It’s unprecedented!

When you look at genocides around the world – one of the most obvious driving forces is an unmitigated, irrational hatred and fear of the victimized group.

Isn’t it time for India to look this fear in the eye? To recognize it? And learn to deal with it like a progressive nation?

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220 Comments leave one →
  1. Rajarani. permalink
    December 17, 2010 6:14 pm

    A very insightful, powerful article, thank you for enlightening us. I have to wonder why there are religious groups in India who consistently put down other groups, continually bomb other people at temples .. and nothing is done about it.. They should spend their time tracking these individuals. They are insulting all women.

    Shame, shame on treating women this way. It is a sad world we live in, why don’t these men go and find something useful to do, this is very small minded thinking, from the dark ages..

    Thank you for writing about this, the world needs to know..

  2. GIKUNDA CAROLINE permalink
    December 17, 2010 9:07 pm



    • chandu permalink
      May 23, 2013 4:57 pm

      calm down girl and grow up they are vedas and many rules are broken now a days so y unnecessary involving men into this

    • May 24, 2013 9:54 am

      Dear Chandu,

      If you read the article, you would know why Gikunda Caroline wrote what she did. And it’s extremely simple for you to just say “they are vedas and many rules are broken now a days”, without really thinking about what you are saying.

      And no one needs to calm down! It’s the exact opposite! Men and women would be living such enriched lives in India (and the world over) if they open their minds more to questions! I’m not saying reject tradition/religion, but be strong enough to question it/ have it questioned.

    • May 24, 2013 10:04 am

      Chandu, You calm down. You men are the hysterics and have been ever since you first got power over women.

    • Vinay permalink
      May 24, 2013 12:59 pm

      Ohh.. Looks like Mr. Chandu from Bedrock got rubbed in the wrong way and has taken it upon himself to represent all the men in the world. Kudos!!!

    • espa2008 permalink
      May 25, 2013 3:19 am

      Chandu, “why bring men into this”? Because *men made the rules* that say we are unclean, and because no men would exist without us women and our “unclean” bleeding! If our menstruation is considered unclean, why is semen not also considered unclean?

    • rivu permalink
      May 25, 2013 7:54 pm

      Dont involve only men here! The whole community is involved! For example, I love a girl from a different caste(lower). When I told this to my mother she reacted like I have done a huge shit with my life. My father didnt care, he said “U r an adult, its ur life, u decide”. But my own mother is creating a big hue and cry over this saying that what “society will think”! So, my point being, change the mindset for the whole community, and the community comprises of u and me. Male child are more prone to be attracted to their mother. I am, and I am immensely hurt by her reaction. I know this is a site for female support, but there wont be any progress for women if there are no up-grade of the mindset of the community/society as a whole. So, be broad minded, try to analyse a situation thru other’s point of view.
      And as for the menstruation, its a natural cycle. Its like cleaning of the most important organ in any living creatures, the reproductive organ, w/o which there wud hav been no “us”!

    • May 28, 2013 12:39 am

      chandu chandu chandu you opened up pandora’s box. Scientifically, menstruation is so central to reproduction that chandu-baby, you wouldn’t exist without it. Now don’t be such a bad boy and go say “sorry” to your mummy.

    • Vedant permalink
      May 29, 2013 3:16 am

      Article nicely captures the sociological and cultural sanctions against menstrual blood and it is a shame to know so many people had no clue about it. Even many of my friends tell me that their wives (and those girls are highly educated) don’t enter temples in their homes during those days (this is not a general topic of discussion but one day just out of curiosity I asked my friends about this period and is there really any difference in the way girls behave). People have rightly echoed that this is a patriarchal concept to deny women the right to worship using old texts and interpreting them in the way that suits male domination (in the same way people said Vedas allowed sati but Raja Rammohan Roy read original texts and proved that there is no such thing in Vedas). How many of you know that Vedic Brahmins used to eat beef and in Vedas there is nothing against eating beef but the real reason why brahmins gave up this practice was because of Aryans who were nomads and cattle were source of wealth to them. Brahmins then, to maintain there domination gave up eating beef and other castes too followed (a process called Sanskritization by M.N.Srinivas). The reason why I quote this example is just to show how little we know about what is really written in Vedas, Upnishadas. To take the point of male domination over women in religious texts, try reading “Why I am not a hindu” by kancha Illiah (he is a hindu but belongs to lower caste and has been denied his rights to practice religion and hence he can’t relate with so called caste-hindus). It gives a beautiful insight how every male god is portrayed dominating a female god (Vishnu on Sheh naag and his wife is shown pressing his feet etc).

      Now my take on this concern at hand. I am against this denial of right to woemn but I don’t blame men entirely for this. Why? Evil will always work till sufferer raises their voice in unity against it. Women have to claim their right. In a country where after Nirbhaya rape women were scared to ask for making marital rape legal offence shows women either go through a wrong process of socialization or they are too scared. If as per UN survey, 57% on Indian women think it is right for a man to hit or abuse his wife if she burns his food or denies him sex, do you really think these women would make this menstrual blood a issue. Keep in mind this is a religious thing and it is always easier to change secular practices than religious. If women are not willing to strike against secular evils against them, I don’t think much would happen against this religious practice in near future. Patriarchy will always try to control or limit matriarchy. Now it is upto women, are they willing to fight???

    • May 30, 2013 4:19 pm

      Are women willing to fight for their rights in India? That’s what this campaign has been crying itself hoarse about. We find women want their equal rights in India, but many of them are too scared to speak out. Even on this blog, most Indian women who write want to remain anonymous.

    • Sanjana permalink
      July 18, 2013 6:25 pm

      I agree , it truly Is an abomination . It’s wrong to deny a woman access to public facilities like places of worship just because they happen to be menstruating . We’re not going to smear the blood on the temple walls , for heaven’s sake!!!! If these ‘GODS’ you hold so dear truly created both men and women , would you call their creations unclean? A simple bodily process turns into an evil power in front of crazed fanatics like the ones who punished this poor actress .

  3. payal permalink
    December 18, 2010 10:29 am

    i m not sure about other countries but in india women are considered untidy, pollutants and dirty while they r mensurating..
    this is really a bad practice..
    after the birth of a child in some parts of india, women is not allowed to touch her own baby, she cant c her husband and cant even touch anything in her house while mensurating.
    if she feeds her baby, the baby is made to take bath right after being fed n the reason for this is that the baby’s mother has touched it while feeding.
    india might have developed in many aspects but some things have not changed and thus adding to the woes in women’s lives..
    its not just a superstition but the highly educated strata also follows the same mentality…
    people need to understand that there is nothing dirty when a woman is mensurating and its a natural process that makes a girls body accept the changes she will go through her womanhood.

    • May 24, 2013 10:06 am

      They do understand it. They know it’s not true. they know it’s not unclean. It’s not stupidity or uneducatedness. It’s hatred of women. They just pretend to be stupid so they can get away with it.

  4. rahma permalink
    December 18, 2010 11:40 am

    we have tampon and pad, why should we afraid??
    don’t be worry, we are not dirty, blood is not a dirty thing, they just jealous on us because we are special….:-)

    • Anonymous permalink
      December 20, 2010 11:52 am

      menstruation is simply an aspect of her body. i say it is a ‘bodily religion’ of her as everyone eats, drinks and defecates showing the body is working. similarly, menstruation shows that the mother ‘s body is in proper function. this is foolish pronouncing it any evil.a campaign should be undertaken to make people aware of this bodily religion of her

    • ritu permalink
      September 9, 2012 5:17 pm

      good one and i agree with u……..we all are special 🙂

    • monica permalink
      May 23, 2013 3:17 pm

      True, it is because ignorant men who don’t know how to handle women make stupid rules. I hope “men” have the guts to answer where were they born from? If women did not go through “cycles” how were men created… maybe they were dropped from heaven???? Sensible men who have the decency to behave like human beings would be equally disgusted by this backward and narrow thinking of “men”!!!!

    • Deb permalink
      May 23, 2013 9:45 pm

      In American Indian tradition, a menstrating woman is knonw to be more powerful that the strongest Medicine Man. Her power to affect spiritual change/fertility is tremendous at this time as her energy is connected to the Earth. Women are the foundation of Creation on this planet, especially during this special time of the month.

    • sonu permalink
      May 25, 2013 12:10 am

      I m totally agree with u Rehma.

  5. BRIGITTE RIX permalink
    December 20, 2010 3:43 pm

    AM JUST SPEECHLESS! Progress is to rise above ancient and distorted traditions. Traditions can be the biggest hindrance to progress! Don’t bother trying to impress the world with technology or similar materialistic goals. First get rid of your pathetic OUTDATED , narrow-minded and cruel laws and traditions. It could be that in the ancient days without sanitation, body hyginene was hard to maintain and smells did occur in hot weather. But now is the 21st century!

    • May 24, 2013 10:08 am

      No, because then why weren’t men’s smelly bodies kept out of the public waters as well? If it was about sanitation all people would be unclean. not just women.

  6. Ceecee permalink
    December 21, 2010 9:29 pm

    This is insanity! Menstral blood is no more poluting than any other body fluid. All body fluids can create a sanitation problem if not handled properly. This includes blood, seman, mucus, vaginal secretions, urine, feces, and anything I forgot to mention. There is nothing about menstral flow that is worse than any other body fluid. If it’s handled properly, it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone else. There are sanitary pads and tampons to catch the flow, and if these are changed regularly, there’s no problem. Sanitary pads and tampons should be wrapped in paper towels or toilet paper before being discarded in the trash. This is for sanitation purposes and to prevent odors. If menstral blood accidentally gets on something, clean it off with a little disinfectant. That will solve the problem. Also women and girls should bathe more frequently when on their periods, to remove menstral residue from their genital areas, so that bacteria won’t have a place to grow and start infection.
    There is no reason to banish anyone. Women can even swim on their menstral periods if they use a tampon. Sex on the menstral period can be unpleasant for both parties, but I’ve heard some people don’t mind. I wouldn’t like it personally, but to each their own.
    We all (both male and female) have bodily fluids that must be handled in a discrete and sanitary manner. To use this as a reason to hate, discriminate against, or fear females is total ignorance and superstition.

  7. anonymous permalink
    December 22, 2010 4:44 pm

    Maybe it will help the change for women to love themselves totally. It is not easy to do when the thoughts are there that say they are dirty, but if they find, in themselves, that they are not, and carry themselves with full self-love, as a self-understood-Goddess, at the very least, they can come to see themselves as not dirty; to bad for anyone else if they do not know this, they are the ones missing out on the full glory of the Holy Mother; the Loving Goddess that is all and loves all, unconditionally, even if many don’t know how to love her back as equally and unconditionally.

  8. Funke Arogundade permalink
    January 6, 2011 12:59 pm

    It’s terrible want tradition has turned us to. the greatest challenge in this fight is making women beleive in themselves. Ask the women do they believe they smell during menstration? you will be shocked about their response. our first assignment and the most difficult one is to work on the women to believe in themselves, to discard negative tradition, then the fight is half won. We shall keep fighting.

    • January 8, 2011 12:47 pm

      @Funke — you are absolutely right. The biggest challenge is to convince women in India that they are not “impure” because they menstruate. It is a psychological prison that becomes self-imposed. It is one of the reasons we feel it is so important to bring this out into the public and talk about it — so it does not remain hidden like a dark, “shameful” issue.

  9. bhakti devotion permalink
    January 15, 2011 1:25 pm

    this cant be bloody happening please god save us from these idiots

  10. Sabrina permalink
    November 9, 2011 9:02 pm

    How is it that a woman who cant menstruate and therefore cant birth a child is allowed to enter a temple and pray that she bears a child and a woman whose body works well enough to menstruate and birth a child cant enter the temple! Ridiculous!

    • May 24, 2013 10:13 am

      I’ll tell you why. Because Men. Are. Jealous.

      And their temples, and churches, and gods, and “life-giving” rituals are all just their own little “affirmative action” program to fix their (believed) inferiority.

  11. emery permalink
    January 10, 2012 11:38 pm

    I’ll bet no one was charged under Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code for “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feeling of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.” when in 2009 a Hindu man dumped a dead pig on the steps of a mosque in southern India. also I’ll bet if a woman had done that she would have been charged.

  12. Dilip permalink
    September 2, 2012 7:18 am

    ha ha! the answer is very simple. Religion, that’s the problem. Hand cuff it and strip it off all of its powers to impose morality on the society. There is no need to duck and dive and ask all sort of difficult questions and employ complex reasoning skills. Most complex problems in life have simple answers. Agreeably it takes more complexity to untangle and arrive at them.

    The reason why none of the folks can stop this from happening is because its a sacred belief held with utmost respect and is completely incontestable. Pass laws and strip it off its powers and out-date sections like 295 in the IPC and see how long they continue to peddle nonsense like this in places of worship.

    • September 4, 2012 6:13 am

      @Dilip — True. That is the actual definition of what it means to be a “secular” state and constitution as Indian proclaims to be. Secular means complete separation of religion and government. But too many parties in India have redefined the word ‘secular’ to mean entertaining the idiosyncrasies and prejudices of religions!!

    • Dilip permalink
      September 4, 2012 6:44 am

      The problem lies with both men and women in India. As a society we are very communal or say in simpler words, racist. Hinduism the major religion in this country has discrimination institutionalized in its scriptures. The Institutionalized discrimination haunts people even when they leave Hinduism and go to Buddhism, Jainism, Islam or Christianity.

      I’m convinced that unless people want to place their country before their personal belief systems there is nothing any internal agitation or external intervention can do. A great example is the Indian Against Corruption movement. Though, i do not support the ideologies of the Lok Pal and im convinced it is flawed and dangerous, as a movement it gained weight-age because the people put their hearts into it. Sadly, our attention span is small and all it takes is 3rd page news, bloated up as 1st page headlines.

      I think as much effort as we are putting into our campaigns against female genocide, we have to employ some parallel focus on figuring out how to in a non intrusive way slip in secularism into the minds of our people. Without this, the ideas of the old dogs will come to stay in the end.

  13. September 2, 2012 7:55 am

    This suspicion of menstrual blood is not restricted to India. Living in the UK I remember talking to a Portuguese woman. She said that if a woman wanted to take revenge on a man then putting menstrual blood into a glass of red wine, and getting the man to drink this would leave a curse on this man, and he might suffer a terrible fate. This story comes from a Catholic Christian background.

    • September 4, 2012 6:11 am

      @Antony — True, you can find similar beliefs about female sexuality and reproductive issues in many cultures and religions. But what we have here is not some illiterate people in some isolated village community. Here the whole state machinery geared into action with the police and courts on board. And in a state — Kerala, that India gives as example of its most progressive state with the highest literacy level — more than 98%!

  14. gowri permalink
    September 2, 2012 5:20 pm

    Menstrual blood is a source of most talked about stem cells which can be used to treat a variety of illness. High time Indians have shed their hypocrisy. Ridiculous is the word!

  15. September 4, 2012 7:48 pm

    Well researched…apt and informative!

  16. Himanshu Chauhan permalink
    September 4, 2012 8:48 pm

    Condemning is easy…detailing the reason, abolishing the anomalies and revamping the situation is another…giving negative shade is easy to a customery practice but digging to the origins and trying to broadcast them but first understanding the concept is indeed a very different thing…an difficult too…
    respect for the authors concern but dismay at concentration on the obvious rather than generating the alternative…

  17. September 5, 2012 6:03 am

    when i was under menstruation period i entered into a temple. but nothing evil happened to me and other devotees of god.

    • emery permalink
      September 6, 2012 10:05 pm

      of coarse nothing bad happened because its just blood after all! the only real concern is that it might spread germs but that is the case with any blood weather it comes from a wound or is Menstrual. so if a person is bleeding they should take care of it and try not to get it on other people but if it is properly contained than there is no reason that they cant go back to there normal life regardless of where the blood came from. I’ve never heard of Indian solders who were wounded in Kashmir being banned from temples or any where else for that matter even if there is a real chance that they might bleed everywhere and make a lot of people sick. lets face it this whole thing is ridiculous!

  18. September 5, 2012 5:41 pm

    im totally shocked while reading dis article.. why woman r calling polluted,unclean.. bcos of dis menstruation one can gv birth a new baby… yeh i know dat in some temple woman r nt allowed but dey can worship …
    menstruation is a birth cycle… every living beings r connected to dis process. THIS article must b take in2 action

  19. September 6, 2012 4:45 pm

    Actually menstruation is a sign of women’s fertility.
    If women would stop to menstruate then the human race become extinct.
    Just mention…

  20. September 7, 2012 11:14 am

    Yes ridiculous…. but if any of you think that raising your voices/opinions/petitions in outrage will change anything you’re both blind and ignorant. This is a country firmly founded in their beliefs. Trying to reform a collective fear and respect of the woman’s sexuality in India would be like trying to take all the beggars and homeless out of the streets. Perhaps you may succeed in raising a few brows in your own respective countries…. but don’t expect more than a rebellion or revolt if you start portraying your concerns and opinions to the source of the problem. Back to the drawing boards..

  21. DebDub permalink
    September 7, 2012 11:55 am

    Seriously? She got “Terrified of the implications” and “admitted” to her ‘crime’”? The society will only take a woman as she takes herself. Poor indeed Jayamala!
    Although I am glad that her stupidity has brought this matter to light… Non-the less I am ashamed to see such women exist. What a Shame.
    “Is this fear – this deep rooted fear of female sexuality— that which underlies not just events like the criminalization of Jayamala’s plain act of worship, but the larger issue of systematic violence towards girls and women in India?” – I am sorry but the fear, this deep rooted fear of female sexuality and this act of criminalization of “Jayamala’s plain act of worship” is fanned by the fire of her own heathen believes.
    By heathen I do not mean Hinduism. By heathen I am directly pointing at the Misinterpretation of Hinduism-blind belief in what a bunch of fat priests conjure-putting herself down as a woman by admitting to a “crime” called menstruation-and allowing male governed Indian society to do as they wish-and again, lack of proper education.
    This is what I call “Women against Women”.

    • Amanda Mickelson permalink
      May 23, 2013 7:35 pm

      Deb Dub, you are unnecesarily critical. Your comments do not lift up. You waste your time typing 🙂

  22. September 7, 2012 12:16 pm

    If our sexuality is so distorted, leave our pussies alone and start using dick instead! I try not to be lewd, but I feel the need in this case.

  23. September 7, 2012 12:28 pm

    This barbaric belief and practice is just more evidence that men are afraid of the power women can exert over them. Men who can’t control their own dicks personally legislate laws to do it for them.

    • May 24, 2013 10:24 am

      Men are not afraid of women. They know full well women cannot hurt them. They use “I’m afraid!” as an excuse to justify their bad behavior. Its bullying, not fear or damage control.

  24. September 7, 2012 4:15 pm

    how barbaric! of course their philosophy agrees with Judaism, which also holds that a menstruating woman is unclean, but they generously only make her unclean while she is bleeding. welcome to the dark ages.

  25. Udayan Das permalink
    September 7, 2012 5:34 pm

    This is rubbish. If God was so against women, why would he have created them? I think it’s high time we stopped being so pretentious, stupid and evil, and started treating women with love and respect.

  26. emery permalink
    September 13, 2012 10:30 pm

    Das you are right even though I don’t believe in god I still agree with your view. if I’m wrong and some god did create women then then that god must have had a good reason to do so. however the argument I use is a little bit more down to earth. the largest asexual life form on land are ferns. since we on the other hand cannot just shed some spores and let them grow into more people. that would be a good trick and it would probably make life easier but it just doesn’t work that way get over it people. we need to stop being so ridiculously against women.

  27. September 19, 2012 6:30 pm

    I think the truth is that priests have lacked money, and they have found someone who has money and then they have found something to prosecute her.

    • Amanda Mickelson permalink
      May 23, 2013 7:37 pm

      You hit the nail on the head !

  28. Wendy permalink
    May 21, 2013 3:02 am

    Very interesting ,but when it all boils down to it does common sense not tell them that without the menstruation there is no more production of human life ,Menstruation is essential to life,.This is the yr 2013 ,we wont let them treat their women and girls like that here in Australia.

    • May 21, 2013 10:39 am

      They know that! But this is ultimately about power. It’s a patriarchy telling women, you are just “filthy” sexual and reproductive resources for us. We will use you and discard you as and where we please.

  29. May 21, 2013 3:09 am

    Ever since Eve was cursed for seeking knowledge, the priest with the Bible in his hands has pronounced her the most unnatural, untrustworthy and dangerous creation of God. She has been given away as a sheep at the marriage altar, classed with the ox and the ass, cursed in maternity, required to receive purification at the hands of the priest for the crime of child-bearing, her body enslaved, and robbed of her name and of her property.
    If the priest, with the Holy Bible in his hands, can show just cause why woman should not look to reason and to science rather than to Scripture for deliverance, “let him speak now, or forever after hold his peace.”
    When Reason reigns and Science lights the way, a countless host of women will move in majesty down the coming centuries. A voice will cry, “Who are these?” and the answer will ring out: “These are the mothers of the coming race, who have locked the door of the Temple of Faith and thrown the key away; ‘these are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the’ fountain of knowledge. ~Elizabeth Stanton
    Thank you Chy-Anne x

  30. May 21, 2013 6:48 am

    Friends all these kind of suppression which are imposed on women are just to nurture caste-system in India. Right from many centuries women are suppressed, they were not the part of mainstream of INDIAN SOCIETY it was sheer hard work of DR B R AMBEDKAR who drafted HINDU CODE bill and as a result women started coming into main stream. Friends sati, widowhood, child marriage was imposed on women so that they wont go for inter-caste marriage and the world’s most poisonous system of caste-ism should should be maintained and nurtured till date. Friends please go through the details of books like CASTE AND ITS GENESIS BY DR AMBEDKAR and also go through the debate which DR B R AMBEDKAR has to face while drafting HINDU CODE bill. It is duty of educated females of OUR MOTHER LAND that they should create an awareness among themselves and then in heterogeneous mass.Then only a social change will come leading to women equality and empowerment

  31. Rafeek permalink
    May 21, 2013 1:56 pm

    Nothing can be changed till the people realize

  32. Prashobh Karunakaran permalink
    May 21, 2013 10:10 pm

    I am a Malaysian Hindu, my wife is from India and she refuses to go to temple when she menstruates. We had a few heated argument about this; my trying to get her any my daughter to go to temple and she refusing. So, it is at least in my case the women who hold on to this tradition.

    • May 23, 2013 9:01 pm

      You must educate her….teach her how wrong she is about this matter…..Be patient and involve her with other ladies who are also liberated!…..

    • jkm permalink
      May 23, 2013 10:53 pm

      I’m a sikh. And in our religion, we practice something called a ‘chalia’. Means one needs to go to a gurudwara, every day for 40 days if you have any wish/ need peace of mind etc.

      When I was young, I curiously asked my grandmom why its for 40 simultaneous days and not 10 or 20? She said its cus god wants all woman, practicing chalia to come to gurudwara, even when they are mensurating (normally every woman will get her period atleast once in 40 days) .

      Now that’s progressive thinking.

  33. Shaun permalink
    May 22, 2013 6:17 pm

    Tradition is so stupid. It’s no different to all the Pharisees and Saducees who hated Jesus Christ because He hated such stupid religious rituals and traditions that put people in bondage. Religion is total junk. A personal relationship with Almighty God is what it’s supposed to be. God created the woman, and menstruation is natural. Religion is what placed Jesus on the cross.

    • May 24, 2013 10:29 am

      I agree. Christianity- in its oldest form- is the religion of women and slaves. Jesus once healed a woman who scholars said must have been suffering some sort of menstrual bleeding (for weeks at a time!)

      Not to mention

      A: a lot of the stuff he supposedly said about women was not true and
      B: the Catholic Shit-Church is supposedly hiding parts of the Bible that haven’t been “discovered” yet. (now there’s a real Da Vinci Code)

  34. May 23, 2013 12:01 am

    एक महत्वपूर्ण जानकारी को प्रस्तुत किया गया हैं.

  35. May 23, 2013 7:30 pm

    The state’s involvement in this matter is certainly abominable and calls out for separation of church and state. But it does little good to say that menstruation doesn’t conflict with certain religions, when in fact it does. MANY religions incorporate strict sanctions against contact with menstruating women as fundamental tenets. Not only Hinduism is involved, but also Islam and Orthodox Judaism.

    Instead of trying to deny the historical facts of these religions, the feminist case should be that the religions themselves are in conflict with women’s and human rights. Menstruating women do not have a “right” to participate in religious ceremonies that specifically prohibit them. They do have a right to leave those religions, and that is what should be advocated. Let those so-called religions die.

    • Debbie permalink
      August 14, 2013 12:58 am

      Exactly what I was thinking! Who needs religion when it cannot grant equal passage to God/ faith based on differences in gender (or discrimination in any form). It is perhaps easier to find faith in something that is not so steeped in ludicrous superstitions.

  36. May 23, 2013 8:30 pm

    Apart from the bonds of domestic shackles ..women in India are also stuck in this psychological prison of self depreciation due to a lack of education at a younger age. They are literally raised in an environment where the older women believe that they are inferior too.
    Women are not allowed to like sex as much as men.
    The irrational damning of Menstruation is merely a way to suppress female sexuality which is considered to be unnatural and unwanted.
    A possible way to change this is to target it from the bottom up. To empower these women, educate them and let them become more self sufficient and confident.

  37. May 23, 2013 8:58 pm

    Very serious steps MUST be taken by the whole of India society, to EDUCATE , from childhood the importance of a female person……Education, education, education!!!!….. plus then role model MALES …who treat females with respect, kindness, admiration and love…..
    In the home, at school , at shops , in public…respect and admiration for females- womenhood must be advertised, practised and subtly brought to the consciousness of Indian Society……..At school, in the home, every person must be consciously and unconsciously be taught the IMPORTANCE ,of the female…..little girl, teenager, young teenager, full grown women, mothers, grand-mothers…The wonder and miracle of WOMANHOOD…..the female in society…….

  38. May 23, 2013 9:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Alchemy of the Word and commented:
    Misogyny strikes again!

  39. piNK permalink
    May 23, 2013 10:07 pm

    teach these arrogant illiterate religious leader through our arrogance.. go to the temples when U R MENSTRUATING…when my grandma asks me not to pray and enter the puja room when i am menstruating, i go forcefully and tell her i don’t care and neither does GOD. after all who r they worshiping? another female deity, right? hypocrites!

  40. May 23, 2013 10:13 pm

    If menstruation makes a woman evil and polluting and she isn’t allowed to enter the temple premises,Then Masturbation is equally polluting and un-hygienic to society,so men should also be banned from entering and as far my knowledge I know there is no age limit for men in masturbation :/

    Reasons which make me hate India,Backward Sociopath :/

    • Krishna Teja permalink
      May 25, 2013 9:17 am

      for these small reasons you are hating the whole India????? How insane you are? Moon do have some holes craters, these imperfections don’t stop you from liking the moon…right? Everything has both sides….good and bad…and every country has both the things and this shouldnt stop you from loving your country which you much more than you gave to the country. Rethink please 🙂

  41. kamlesh permalink
    May 23, 2013 11:20 pm

    U all are special…………and m really sad to c women treated like dis………when my niece strted to menstruate………..I was d one to xplain her dat nothin is wrong vd her…….at young age of 11 she cudnt understand scientific reason………so I told her dat god has blessed her with special powers……….n today she is 14 and has understood d concept………..I hope all men can wake up n contribute in their ways………….I want to express my support to all d women who goes thru it.

  42. Shruti permalink
    May 23, 2013 11:38 pm

    Hey guys…… read the long debate…. the issue is not in the age old ritual… or so called ‘RULE’ the actual problem lies in the way it gets interpreted …… I believe that all the rituals and so called orthodox believes were started off with a noble intent.. like there is a saying that u should not cut your nails in night …. it is a bad omen but that fact is that at that time there were no tube lights.. just lamps and hence a nail could fall anywhere and anyone could get hurt.. similarly in early ages when there were no sanitary napkins and no attached toilets hygiene was an issue during menstruation, it was not easy to change the napkin every 4 hrs and take bath 3 times a day as it is for us today… hence that angle of being impure or dirty came in.. also more importantly.. most women go through lot of pain and discomfort while menstruating and hence, by not allowing the female to enter the kitchen and not allowing the female to do lot of things the idea was to give them some rest during these days. India being a Ggod fearing country… lot of such things are associated with god/religion so that people will follow out of fear of GOD…. It is however extremely sad the way these rules are interpreted and imposed without understanding their deeper meaning ….. and the case mentioned here is really unfortunate……

    • May 23, 2013 11:41 pm

      It’s not unfortunate Shruti. It is outrageous and misogynistic!

    • jigar permalink
      May 24, 2013 1:29 am

      agree with shruti… Plz do make understand to all the girls, such a good reply to all girls by a girl.

    • pranav permalink
      May 24, 2013 1:55 am

      i totally agree wid u.. our ancestors wer nt fools to blindly make ol these kinda rules.. der wer many noble intentions behind it.. v gotta try to understand dem, instead of criticizin dem… :-/

    • May 24, 2013 10:33 am

      What about men and their semen, then? Hm?

    • Sudhir permalink
      May 24, 2013 10:49 am

      I Agree with Shruti … this is just dependent on time & facilities …. not on any religious thoughts … and these kinds of issues with women can be seen in many of other religions too … even in some of now them a days also …

    • Romit Agrawal permalink
      May 24, 2013 4:57 pm

      I appreciate your comment and understanding.. Thats what we need int hsi time, and not fighting of Feminism!!!

    • dristine permalink
      May 25, 2013 6:21 am

      Hi i am a Mi’kmaq native american from Nova Scotia Canada, and first of all i want to say that the language this artical uses is extreamly bias. when it quotes women as being dirty or unclean or polutiong the air by being on their mentsration cycle the writer is just plain ignorant and very prejudice towards this culture, as i have faced the same views on my cultural teachings that are similar. I am a witch and have been for close to 18 years, i also practice my native cultural teachings and reapect them a great deal. I find with most people who are willing to listen this misunderstanding can be cleared up very quickly and cleanly….. so here i will try to explain to you why people who dont have a back groung in magick or understanding in it wiew these ancient teachings as discriminotory against women when really they are not.

      women are their most powerfull on their moon time as we call it. you can tap into your natural power even more freely when your moon time falls on a full mooon as most of you pagans out there are allready aware of!!! now in my culture, women are not equal to men lets get that right out in the open, my sweat logdge elder says that a woman has ten times the power of a man. Our society is a MATRIARCHY. women who are pregnant are placed inthe higest honor with the most attention givent to women who have children and of course the elders of our society. LET ME ALSO SAY THIS you all know how if you are around an older more powerfull witch for long enough that some how unexplainable to moderen science that your periouds will cync up, usually changing the yourger girls cycle to match the older ones causing her to be either earlie or late,( i know i have experianced this on multipal occasions. How bout you ladies?)

      the reason why in my culture a woman is not aloud around sacred medicines like sage, sweetgrass, and others on her time, or not allowed to drumb at the sacred drum on her time or allowed to participate in a sweat lodge cerrimony is because of the fact that we have to becarefull not to over burden our bodies or the bodies of men. or change those powerfull medicines. I will explain. we all know as witches that thought and intention are very powerfull and can change the outcome of any magick you preform, when you are on your time your aura and your uteren contractions can effect the life force of other individuals ESPECIALLY MEN. although their menstral cycle cant link up to give you proof i assure you i have seen these effects, complaints of feeling drained for no reason, dizzyness shortness of temper. it is almost like the thing that happenes to some men when their women are in labour, some men show the same symptoms as their labouring women. their are many factores effecting the showing of symptoms that are much the same as the factors that contribute to a good spell caster vs a bad one.

      woman who enters the sweat lodge on her time puts herself at risk, as the lodge is a clensing ceromony and she is already going threw her own clensing cycle. also if there is men in the lodge it can be dangerous to them especially if the woman is harbouring ill will or resentment ( remember intent and it splace in magick) for the man or men involved. As for medicines, we all know that aromatherapy is not made up atuff and that preserving the smell and quality of herbs is very important, when you are on you time it is almost as if your gravitational force is amplified, it hwas the power to imprint on those medicines, a good witch knows that no aspect should be over looked. as for those people and their temple, who are we to talk down about them wehn the article clearly has no indian perspective form an elder or priest of their temple, it is as bad as any christan article slandering our sabbaths ans ebats!!! if any one has questions or if i missed anything pleas ask. i am always happy to give information. love and blessed be all my relations

    • May 25, 2013 6:28 am

      I agree with u Shruti, the things were started with different intentions but now-a-days they are not valid.

    • Laxmi permalink
      May 25, 2013 2:24 pm

      Shruti, you are right. The ladies of previous generations indeed wanted to be isolated, so they get a chance to take rest and be away from the hectic household chores. So, they didn’t really mind whatever people call it as. We just don’t have to follow it anymore, as it doesn’t make sense now.

    • rakesh permalink
      May 26, 2013 4:26 am

      Well explained. I would also like to know what literature they r referring to when accusing Gandhi of such a lunatic statement abt women. As far as cultural heritage and scriptures r concerned, women were supposed to command more respect then men. No other religion in the world accepts Goddeses but Hindu religion. A woman was head of state of India abt 40 years ago while we in US still waiting that to happen

    • prannoy permalink
      May 26, 2013 11:48 am

      I was waiting for someone who could tell these so called “rational thinkers” the idea behind old rituals, and you have explained it wonderfully. Thanks for that. Until women like you are there, it gives me confidence that our basic philosophy of inquisitiveness is alive.

  43. May 24, 2013 12:39 am

    A woman menstruating or a man undergoing dialysis or wearing a pad if he is incontinent is purely a private matter. It’s between her/him and possibly their doctor, wife or husband.
    Discrimination of any sort based on a person’s physical or health condition ought to be deemed illegal and the person discriminated against compensated for that act.
    Any sensible judge would say that. The Indian judiciary, while packed with some brilliant judges, does have its share of duds who might have given this spurious case the lift it did not deserve.
    In the event, the Kerala High Court most correctly threw the case out in July last year.

  44. Vinay permalink
    May 24, 2013 1:15 am

    The Tantras dont hold this view. Its only gained traction in the last 1000 years with the subjugation of women. The greatest saints of the 19th century- Sri Ramakrishna and Sarada Ma have explicitly said that there is no issue regarding purity as far as menstruation is concerned. All devotees of Sri Ramakrishna in their households/temples dont adhere to this restriction. Think about it, you are going into a temple to forget that you are the body and the mind and you are made to remember that you are the female body. What nonsense!!

  45. Prathish Nair permalink
    May 24, 2013 1:20 am

    you ppl are taking too much of science vs religion thing and all….but please remember somebody once said “Every law is governed by science and every science is governed by laws.”

  46. jigar permalink
    May 24, 2013 1:25 am

    why are you people making this issue big… Girls do what ever you want, no need of making something shit as a big discussion point.

  47. Prathish Nair permalink
    May 24, 2013 1:37 am

    and yes one more thing if in India u people are considered untidy n whatsoever you people just said then I guess it is here in the same country you people are considered Goddess and worshiped….people please open your eyes…

  48. Prathish Nair permalink
    May 24, 2013 1:40 am

    We men do respect you…to all mom and sisters throughout the country and through out the world.

  49. pranav permalink
    May 24, 2013 2:14 am

    u ppl dnt knw a shit abt d sabarimala temple n r simply arguing abt it huh??? fools, dnt tlk if u dnt knw any shit.. nt lettin ladies into sabarimala hs gt nudn to wid sexual discrimination or any crap dat u ppl r tlkin abt..

  50. May 24, 2013 2:37 am

    Ummm.. I am pretty sure this never happened. Yes menstruation is considered dirty or whatever.. but that’s just an archaic religious belief..that took shape in an age when there no tampons or stuff.. nobody cares about it anymore. And it is certainly NOT a rul enforced by the law.. Why do we have to overreact about everything?

  51. Shruti permalink
    May 24, 2013 6:37 am

    yes it is….

  52. May 24, 2013 7:14 am

    I saw this article on FB. Great and insightful writing. Thanks for writing this. Someone posted on FB that there weren’t napkins in old days and that was the reason why practices like the one in this temple were set up and followed. I find the argument about public hygiene very insulting and infuriating. Yes there weren’t napkins in old days but that doesn’t mean women didn’t know how to maintain personal hygiene. Hygiene is a convenient excuse for men’s aversion to women’s bodies. If that was the reason, then why even today women who are menstruating are not allowed to enter the temple? We don’t have napkins now? Oh we do but we don’t trust women to use them and keep themselves clean? WTF? The more legitimate excuse would be – most men don’t have self control. They didn’t have it back then and they don’t have it now. Men are supposed to be “clean” and not engage in vices like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or sex and spend the “holy period” worshiping the lord (the period when they fast and visit this temple in Kerala.) If women from age – 10 to 50 – were allowed with men to participate in the holy period and to enter the temple, then it would become harder for men to exercise self control, hence this branding of women as “impure.”

  53. May 24, 2013 9:28 am

    I think if the temple had rules she should have followed it, I am a woman and still suggest there are certain religious norms which are meant to be followed, the rule is not against mensuration. Here there are various religious factors if you respect your culture and religion you will understand this and people who call them selves modern should go to church not temple. Hinduism hardly imposes any rules its the most liberal religion you go to temple if u wish to, u don’t do religious 5 times namaz like Muslims or go to church every Sunday.. so when Muslims and Christians religiously follow their rules cant Hindu woman follow one rule???? TRY AND RESPECT HINDUISM and don’t try to change the traditions if you want a change go CONVERT, but to be a Hindu you should be born a HINDU.

    • ajmal pasha permalink
      June 2, 2013 2:04 am

      well..all this conventions and definite protocols seems to be very stern and taxing in any how come this exclusively for women then??as some one has mentioned even some in men has got despicable habits like smoking,chewing tobacco and eyes full of lust .even such things are solely impure,immoral and unwelcoming in any religion Islam or Hinduism or Christianity. so traditionally and socially the theme seems to be right but not apart from is the mindset and soul that one needs to put clean without filth and not the transient human bodies…
      whats use if people involved in scams,incriminated in unscrupulous chores comes to temple,mosque,churches????? was it to be granted for pardon?????
      human being were born first and then some of this religious protocols and definite conventions…what kind of insane thinking many people are having in all kinds of religions..pity on conventional beliefs…

  54. May 24, 2013 9:38 am

    I agree.. truly misogynistic. The height of hypocrisy …A country which boasts of worshipping Durga and her various forms, and the red fluid (considered as menstrual fluid -since mythology states that the womb of Sati fell at the sanctum sanctorum of the temple premises)at Kamakhya is distributed as prasad. …WHY THE HELL ITS A CRIME ?? Or, EVEN A MISFORTUNE. …ITS WE, the superstitious ones who believe its a matter of disgrace, or anything abnormal. its the result of generations of handouts of our rigid, patriarchal society that have been indelibly imprinted in the minds of a so-called liberal society, be it the educated fleas, or the lowermost strata…Mothers tell their daughters.. daughters tell their offsprings and so on.. From a rational perspective, whats so odd about menstruating ??Men ejaculate at puberty, we menstruate. The irony is–Rapists, murderers, gangsters,corruptest politicians can visit a temple.. they are not classified as dirty but a menstruating female is categorised as a piece of vermin.

  55. jon permalink
    May 24, 2013 9:40 am

    All this can be just resumed in one single word: ingnorance.

  56. laxmi permalink
    May 24, 2013 10:52 am

    woman menstruate because it is a natural process. The cycle stops when she is pregnant. And after 9 months, kids are born. These kids grow up to be men and women. The people in temples did not drop from heaven. They were born the same way as everyone else. Their mother went through the same way and scientifically it has been proven that considering the menstrual blood as impure is an early man’s view. I understand these people in temples read Vedas and other sacred books, but with changing time, they need to learn to respect human beings as they are. They take bath in rivers directly and pollute the rivers. Making nature dirty is heavenly but a woman having her natural cycle is impure. They should try to think beyond books.

  57. May 24, 2013 11:18 am

    Which temple is this. I need to know this. I certainly don’t want to bow to a deity who is so weak that (s)he can be polluted by a menstruating girls presence.

  58. Vineesh permalink
    May 24, 2013 12:53 pm

    I am not here to support or deny any one, but i would like to contribute my piece of information about this temple and its rituals.
    I am not wrong this temple is called “Shabari Mala” is southern region of India,
    and even male devotees are expected to follow a Vrath for 41 days,
    This begins with wearing of a special Mala (a garland made of Rudraksha or Tulasi beads). In general from then they are to refrain from non-vegetarian food of any kind (except dairy) alcohol, and tobacco, engaging in sex, using foul language, hair-cuts and shaving. They are expected to bath twice and visit the local temples regularly and only wear plain black or blue coloured traditional clothing
    Hundreds of devotees still follow the traditional mountainous forest path (approximately 52 km) from Erumely,naked foot in forest!!

    Interesting fact is that there is also a Mosque near this temple, any visit to this Shrine without paying visit to the mosque is considered incomplete..

    Women between the ages of 10 and 50 are not allowed to enter the temple, since the story attributed to Ayyappa prohibits the entry of the women in the menstrual age group.
    This is because Ayyappan is a Bramachari (Celibate).not because he had any hygienic issue.

    Please do consider this as an attempt to trow some light on the topic we are debating on.

    • May 26, 2013 12:26 pm

      Shabari Mala

    • J Das permalink
      May 29, 2013 1:39 am

      Thank you for shedding some light on this. Before people pass judgement and form opinions they need to understand the nature of Ayyappa Swami, who himself is characterized as a celibate God. Therefore, therein lies the prohibition on menstrual blood (vis a vis women under 50), certain vraths for males which focus on purity, etc. Interestingly, there is also a shakti temple in India that is considered very holy, and that celebrates the “menstrual blood” that purportedly manifest from the deity every year.

  59. Ishika permalink
    May 24, 2013 2:06 pm

    menstrual blood is the purest form of blood in the human body as it where the zygote rests after fertilisation and derives its nourishment from it…..

  60. Provocatif permalink
    May 24, 2013 3:12 pm

    Brahmins have been the worst thing to have happened to India (much in the same way as Vatican to Christians). They have ensured that most of the population is kept illiterate through centuries (so no one questions on their “knowledge of Gods”), divided the society & brought about many immoral practices like untouchability, sati, dowry etc just to keep their dominating position. It is a big myth that India is a democracy – while political class is still very much Brahmin dominated, the economy is controlled by handful Parsis and Marwaris & as usual, the Kshatriyas (Jats, Rajputs, Marathas & Sikhs) still send their kids to die on the border. This is a doomed country that has no respect for its women.

  61. Vikrant permalink
    May 24, 2013 3:30 pm

    Doesn’t this show the dual face of a religion where you worship goddesses who are portrayed young and on the other side you don’t allow the females to enter the temples just because they menstruate?? The girls are not impure but the mentality is impure. On one side we can also notice that the same people worship vagina in some of there temples while we get to see the cases like this where a secular judiciary and executive are dancing on the religious instructions.

  62. May 24, 2013 3:49 pm

    Sad illumination of the plight of women in India. The only thing i can contribute is something from Dr Ravi Zacharias on how some worldviews logically lend themselves to some attrocities as this- “a conviction ungirded by love will make the possessor of them obnoxious and the dogma they possess repulsive”… I find this all too relevant to this discussion considering the issue has deep cultural roots…

  63. May 24, 2013 3:54 pm

    I wonder why we need a religion like this in the first place? She went to worship and the religion stopped her. What kind of religion is this? Who needs this kind of religion.

  64. May 24, 2013 4:05 pm

    Rotten are those minds who think that menstruating is a crime, and menstruating women are ‘polluting’ or ‘dirty’…. These practices and beliefs do not belong to any particular religion, caste or country(It’s not about Hinduism/Islam, it’s not about India, and it’s not about Brahmans/Shudras). Rather, it is a manifestation of the deeply entrenched fear of women by the patriarchal world, i.e. the fear of “FEMININE POWER OF GIVING BIRTH”

    All of these menstrual taboos aiming at looking down women socially, and making them hate their own bodies, are used as a disguise for this ‘great power’ that women hold, which has potential to uproot the foundation of ‘patriarchy’ and ‘male superiority’.i.e. the ability to carry a baby in her womb and give birth to human race.
    Now the menstrual blood which symbolizes this power naturally becomes ‘enviable’ and hence such illogical laws are passed..
    It is sick to confess that such laws are practiced in all its glories in India and yet new ways are discovered to suppress feminine sexuality.!

  65. May 24, 2013 4:15 pm

    As an agnostic guy, I may not truly understand ‘Religion and Faith’ but in this case it doesn’t require anything more than just basic humanity and logic that ‘customs’ and ‘cultures’ like these have no place in a civilized society.
    Many such ‘customs’ have been slowly discarded over the years. Sati was discarded; human Sacrifice is long gone; Restricting entry of ‘Lower Castes’ people to most temples have disappeared; Shunning the dowry system is slowly finding support in a niche.
    I hope to see a future where our country’s religious consensus understands how archaic, inhumane and illogical these types of rules are.

  66. john2find permalink
    May 24, 2013 4:18 pm

    Well I don’t agree completely with the post you have given . why so ?:
    First we need to decide we want to believe in a religion or not ?

    Modern science dis-regards all faith, and proves all faith as false.
    Then we need to decide instead of all this , do we want to stick to a religion or not ?

    If we say yes, we want to stick to it:
    Then follow its code. And Hindusim tradition prohibits a woman undergoing MC to enter a temple.
    If you put reason with it that woman with MC should be allowed to enter a temple, than the concept “religion ” itself is a taboo, and against science, why don’t you reason in believing a religion itself, indeed.

    If you say no, than don’t go to their temple, which follows the code and disrespect the belief of people who respect it.

  67. Romit Agrawal permalink
    May 24, 2013 4:52 pm

    It is very sad to read this article.. but at the same time, the best possible answer can be given by student of Law. going into the sources of Law, Customs/Practices is one of the major source of Law and customs changed into Law as the society at that moment needed to. Therefore society also includes Women.. so this is one of the example that the religious practice/custom is converted into Law and no one ever challenged. In CAD, Pandit Nehru and other philosophers opined that the Law is changing and changes are to made as per the society. Therefore, although this is bad law, but custom and religious practice is there. It is not just because of Men, so please do not involve men into this whirlpool.. Further, Indian Law also changes and adapts the changes very frequently. recently law for Protection of Women vide Gazzette April 02, 2013 is changed and more protection has been accorded to. Therefore there is nothing that the Men in society are bad, or equal status is not given to women, Women are treated badly, or restrictions are imposed upon Women etc. Change needs to be Manage accordingly and for that we all have to unlearn the concept till now and have to learn new concepts.. Thats it!! please Women, Do not feel offended as You are also treated as Goddess….. Even by Men!!!!!!

  68. Jodie permalink
    May 24, 2013 6:07 pm

    Yet Indian men can go around hawking snot down the back of their throat and spitting anywhere they like. Now thats Disgusting.

  69. May 24, 2013 6:09 pm

    hypocrisy in this thread is very high, these people commenting here will not have the courage to do anything about it. Each one of them has known this happens even before they discovered this article but did anyone say anything about it…why???
    Because men naturally don’t care about the rights of the women and women are in such a bad condition to even talk about these things in public.
    Now the remaining few people standing at the verge of liberty and talking about equality and women rights.
    What needs to change is your attitude in your own home and society, make change in your family and the rest will follow. It will be slow of course but everlasting and unforced.

  70. Gurdeep Singh permalink
    May 24, 2013 6:12 pm

    I live in India and let it be known that this outrages me. There would be equal, if not more, sympathisers here, than across any other country in the world!

  71. Anamika permalink
    May 24, 2013 6:55 pm

    Ridiculous!! This is a man’s world. That’s hit. If a woman menstruates, she is unclean!! If she cant menstruate, she can’t bear a child and she is looked down!! Menstruation was considered unclean simply because men cant do intercourse during that phase, Thats unhygienic and painful. But such is the ridiculous and disgusting double-standards of our society, that such beliefs are still being practiced. Though i cant change the entire csociety, i have just this one thing to say…i am an atheist in becoming. But if ever i feel like bowing before the Gods and Goddesses, i would not care about my menstrual cycle!! its my body and that would be my God, i would go to worship. And if God has created this world, and so this cycle, i am sure, he would not despise me for that !!!

  72. Sowmya permalink
    May 24, 2013 9:33 pm

    A very good article plus a very good thread of discussion !!! yeah.. we need to do something about this.. V need to change.. There is no much use asking our elders not to follow but V vill promise that v wont follow!! If each one of us stop following this stupid customs in our house… stop lecturing our daughters, our younger generations to follow these meaningless rituals… one day we can put an end to this!!!

  73. Vikas permalink
    May 24, 2013 10:07 pm

    Its more like a kinder garden child debating on PhD topics. Before even going to an extent of labeling this as something against women, some trivial questions are to be answered. Before asking this question why women should not visit temple while menstruating , one should ask why visit temple at all? why temple? before answering this, one should ask why we need any kind of religion or worship?
    It is nothing against women. Its just that its not the right time for them to visit temple. Its difficult to understand these things and takes effort, so ignorant people will choose the easier option, the blame game.
    Remember religion and temple are both very scientific and as our baby modern science is evolving, new facts are being discovered every day about how scientific these temples and rituals are. Temple is not some park or a mall. And this is no act of discrimination against women.

  74. May 24, 2013 10:17 pm

    i know and have seen this discrimination, but how many of the women who are suffering would get ready to defy the patriarchal norms? it is much deep routed in their mind that they believe its are sin committed by them if they sit along with others for the evening prayer and also accept food and rest in a different room during their monthly cycle. it doesn’t matter if one is educated or not, these outrageous notions have got diluted in the mindset and blood!..

  75. May 24, 2013 10:32 pm

    A very good article. Keep it up. I wonder if it is possible to campaign against this victimisation of the lady for menstruating while entering the temple.

    • May 26, 2013 12:20 pm

      Yes, but this misogyny is so internalized in women in India, that even educated women like the journalist quoted here abide by them. So the push for change from women themselves is not there yet!

  76. sa8298 permalink
    May 24, 2013 11:20 pm

    Constitutionally speaking, article 26 a of the constitution provided a group right, which guarantees the right to manage its own affairs by the religious institutions on matters of religion. However it contradicts the right guaranteed under art. 15 of constitution that prohibits descrimination only on the basis of sex. It is only i repeat only on the basis of sex, that means sex plus something will do. There can be a possibility of a challenge. But still at present it is constitutionally valid only.

  77. May 24, 2013 11:23 pm

    Rotten are those minds who think that menstruating is a crime, and menstruating women are ‘polluting’ or ‘dirty’…. These practices and beliefs do not belong to any particular religion, caste or country(It’s not about Hinduism/Islam, it’s not about India, and it’s not about Brahmans/Shudras). Rather, it is a manifestation of the deeply entrenched fear of women by the patriarchal world, i.e. the fear of “FEMININE POWER OF GIVING BIRTH”
    All of these menstrual taboos aiming at looking down women socially, and making them hate their own bodies, are used as a disguise for this ‘great power’ that women hold, which has potential to uproot the foundation of ‘patriarchy’ and ‘male superiority’.i.e. the ability to carry a baby in her womb and give birth to human race.
    Now the menstrual blood which symbolizes this power naturally becomes ‘enviable’ and hence such illogical laws are passed..
    It is sick to confess that such laws are practiced in all its glories in India and yet new ways are discovered to suppress feminine sexuality.!

  78. paul permalink
    May 25, 2013 1:35 am

    So menstrual blood is impure, whilst people crap in the streets… last time I checked, blood was a little cleaner than human feces, but maybe I’m just not devout enough to see the light.

  79. chicks permalink
    May 25, 2013 6:02 am

    What kind of Bullshit is this?! Being an Indian woman born in the US, I am so glad I grew up a Christian so I wasn’t forced to believe BS like this and I feel so sorry for girls that are alienated because of what has God created and intended. Oh by the way..if we didn’t menstruate..then there would be no babies!

  80. dristine permalink
    May 25, 2013 6:24 am

    Hi i am a Mi’kmaq native american from Nova Scotia Canada, and first of all i want to say that the language this artical uses is extreamly bias. when it quotes women as being dirty or unclean or polutiong the air by being on their mentsration cycle the writer is just plain ignorant and very prejudice towards this culture, as i have faced the same views on my cultural teachings that are similar. I am a witch and have been for close to 18 years, i also practice my native cultural teachings and reapect them a great deal. I find with most people who are willing to listen this misunderstanding can be cleared up very quickly and cleanly….. so here i will try to explain to you why people who dont have a back groung in magick or understanding in it wiew these ancient teachings as discriminotory against women when really they are not.
    Like · Reply · 23 minutes ago

    Dristine Henderson women are their most powerfull on their moon time as we call it. you can tap into your natural power even more freely when your moon time falls on a full mooon as most of you pagans out there are allready aware of!!! now in my culture, women are not equal to men lets get that right out in the open, my sweat logdge elder says that a woman has ten times the power of a man. Our society is a MATRIARCHY. women who are pregnant are placed inthe higest honor with the most attention givent to women who have children and of course the elders of our society. LET ME ALSO SAY THIS you all know how if you are around an older more powerfull witch for long enough that some how unexplainable to moderen science that your periouds will cync up, usually changing the yourger girls cycle to match the older ones causing her to be either earlie or late,( i know i have experianced this on multipal occasions. How bout you ladies?)
    Like · 16 minutes ago
    Dristine Henderson the reason why in my culture a woman is not aloud around sacred medicines like sage, sweetgrass, and others on her time, or not allowed to drumb at the sacred drum on her time or allowed to participate in a sweat lodge cerrimony is because of the fact that we have to becarefull not to over burden our bodies or the bodies of men. or change those powerfull medicines. I will explain. we all know as witches that thought and intention are very powerfull and can change the outcome of any magick you preform, when you are on your time your aura and your uteren contractions can effect the life force of other individuals ESPECIALLY MEN. although their menstral cycle cant link up to give you proof i assure you i have seen these effects, complaints of feeling drained for no reason, dizzyness shortness of temper. it is almost like the thing that happenes to some men when their women are in labour, some men show the same symptoms as their labouring women. their are many factores effecting the showing of symptoms that are much the same as the factors that contribute to a good spell caster vs a bad one.
    Like · 10 minutes ago
    Dristine Henderson a woman who enters the sweat lodge on her time puts herself at risk, as the lodge is a clensing ceromony and she is already going threw her own clensing cycle. also if there is men in the lodge it can be dangerous to them especially if the woman is harbouring ill will or resentment ( remember intent and it splace in magick) for the man or men involved. As for medicines, we all know that aromatherapy is not made up atuff and that preserving the smell and quality of herbs is very important, when you are on you time it is almost as if your gravitational force is amplified, it hwas the power to imprint on those medicines, a good witch knows that no aspect should be over looked. as for those people and their temple, who are we to talk down about them wehn the article clearly has no indian perspective form an elder or priest of their temple, it is as bad as any christan article slandering our sabbaths ans ebats!!! if any one has questions or if i missed anything pleas ask. i am always happy to give information. love and blessed be all my relations

    • Nilesh permalink
      June 1, 2013 8:16 am

      “Must read” , especially last lines of Dristine’s comment that says that it is unfair not to take input from authoritative temple person and without knowing their perspective, give own comments. To be fair, that ancient culture, which has produced language like Sanskrit and given mathematics and astronomy, I do not think could be so crude as to hold females as dirty or unclean. On the contrary, to my mind, none of the current mainstream religions have female deities, goddesses. When Hindus say, Matru Devo Bhava, they say, my mother is worthy of respect as a God. The article has one-sided view and many seems to have climbed the bandwagon of bashing. Among all the comments, Dristine’s is well thought of comment as compared to rest of knee-jerk comments.

  81. Krishna Teja permalink
    May 25, 2013 9:08 am

    yes I agree with you Shruthi…………at those times women become very weak. That weakness cannot make them do ritual procedures, fasting, hard work.. for these reasons that rule was put saying at those times women are not allowed for festivals, functions and other public related or God related things.

  82. kishore babu permalink
    May 25, 2013 9:13 am

    It has been claimed by some writers such as Dr George Starr and Arnold Ehret – and I generally agree with them – that menstrual bleeding is a tremendous waste of female resources which keeps women in subnormal health and with greatly reduced physical strength. This is reflected in the 15% higher average hemoglobin levels of males as compared to pre-menopausal females. There is a very high loss of sex hormones in menstrual blood and a New York gynecologist, Dr Frank, believes that this causes the menopause to start many years sooner and with greater health problems than would otherwise be the case.

    Basically, the wall of the uterus after shedding the endometrium is an open wound, which heals quickly and with minimal blood loss in healthy women, but which continues to bleed the longer and heavier, the more unhealthy the body is. Only when women become too anemic does monthly bleeding stop as a self-protection measure.


    While vitamin and mineral deficiencies tend to delay wound healing, the main cause for prolonged or heavy bleeding is thought by naturopaths to be a condition of toxemia. If there are toxins in the bloodstream, the body uses any opportunity of an open wound, such as a leg ulcer or a bleeding uterus wall to expel as many toxins as possible. Menstrual blood has been shown to be highly toxic. This may be the reason why in some ‘primitive’ societies women were regarded as ‘unclean’ during period time.

  83. Sherin permalink
    May 25, 2013 10:13 am

    This is one of those underlying problems when the so called God belongs to a particular gender group!

    • Sherin permalink
      May 25, 2013 10:21 am

      What I realised from the Sabarimala temple beliefs that the issue is not of menstruation, but about the ‘Brahmacharyam’ of the God Ayyappan there.Thinking in that point of view, it is an essential duty of the devotees to take care of his pure state! I wonder why the God(?) himself is not able to do so. It is ridiculous to argue that the God has a fear on his pure state being affected by the mere presence of a woman!

    • neena permalink
      May 27, 2013 3:41 pm

      sherin….God is not afraid of women… then how can be there another temple having a Goddess as deity in the same compound .. that too having a Goddess who is waiting to get married with the same God according to the puranaaaaaa………..but about the male worshippers who are trying hard to keep their Brahmacharyam , who are completely avoiding the sex life just to have a pilgrimage over there…they may not be able to do so….that’s why the restriction…………and in India even in a crowded city like delhi women are not safe …….then will they stay safe in a deep forest where the temple is situated………and in ancient days even men dare to go there..

  84. Aarti Bhattacharya permalink
    May 25, 2013 10:37 am

    NO, Actually it is a GOD’s gift to females so as to clean herselfs from inside so that she can give birth to a better generation ahead who will think things positively. I am sure that these thoughts/tradition of the men of the past will change, and it is already in the prosses. Because the rules of then is not suitable/aplicable today.

  85. gauri permalink
    May 25, 2013 10:41 am

    I second what Shruti says in the earlier comment. The primary reasons why women were required to rest quietly during the period of menstruation were likely positive attempts to ensure that a woman got the necessary rest her body required. There are also temples (although rare) where the menses is a revered event, suggesting that the original attempts were not as chauvinist as they may seem.

    Religion has always been a means of ensuring rapid and consistent acceptance of an idea, and so norms about women not working during their menses got delivered through the medium of religious doctrine. But the unfortunate side-effect of this has always been that the meaning and the reasoning for an act is lost while blind and consequently rigid following of an action remains. Simplistic explanations of “it is bad” or “it is wrong” are then applied to ‘explain’ the action….. and here we are a few centuries later, where the Chinese whispers have turned ‘let the woman rest’ to ‘the woman is unclean’.

  86. Aarti Bhattacharya permalink
    May 25, 2013 11:09 am

    When GOD only made it in the system, then who r we to deside wether it is pure or impure / good or bad.
    May be these rules must have been made due to the unhygenic condition then. (In those days when these so called rules were made most of the Indian women not used get proper or nutritious food even(mostly servived on men’s left over food) then how they must have been provided with the knowledge of hygine?
    Yes, They should be kept isolated or give less burden so as to take rest in those days and not because she is impure. Actually those are the days when she is cleansing herself, and that she needs rest, but not to prohobit her from enterning certain rooms or a religious place.
    Frankly speaking as it is said that GOD is every where, then I would ask here , Do really Gods stay only in religious places ? or Is there any particular place where GOD is not there? (the places other wise the Menstruating women stays, and the places other than riligious place ?)
    Today do the females have any time to follow these OUTDATED rules? Today somany families depends on their females. Can they afford to stay back in a room doing nothing in this fast moving world ?

  87. May 25, 2013 1:00 pm

    The simple solution for this fucking issues is, Just come out from stupid religions and old tales!

  88. Suraj permalink
    May 25, 2013 2:30 pm

    As Emily Zola has once said “Civilization will not attain perfection until last stone from last church falls on the last priest.” This is what we really need. Keep your faith with in the 4 walls of your home and raze down every single temple, mosque and church.

  89. satish permalink
    May 25, 2013 3:26 pm

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”.. –Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV) . please do visit this link and think .. which religion respects women and which does not.

  90. nobody permalink
    May 25, 2013 3:29 pm

    First of all, kudos to you for completely misguiding your readers by not giving the whole information about the case and then passing judgements to somehow connect it with your campaign. Well done.

    Point 1. You should remember that as a blog that gets a number of readers, it is your moral obligation as a writer to present the true facts to your readers (who obviously refuse to use their own intellect and take your word for fact) and then, present your “opinion” in a balanced way. It is easy to be provocative and present masses with half-baked truths and complete lies – that’s what political leaders do. Writers should refrain from this certainly.

    Point 2. Some basic facts for you about the temple structure and practices:
    – Only females before puberty and after menopause are allowed to enter the temple premises. This supposedly stems from the belief that Lord Ayyappa (the deity of Sabarimala) was a brahmachari.

    – By temple premises, I mean the temple sanctum sanctorum (and not the actual deity chamber). So if I, a male, had to “touch” the idol as the particular actress in question claimed, I would not only have to enter the sanctum sanctorum (where females are not allowed), but also travel a good 50-100 m to reach the place where you can have a peek into the deity chamber and see the idol sitting another 10ft in front of you at a height, separated by 3 stairs and atleast 3 pandits guarding the stairs. This is done so that not a single person (read: male or very young/very old females) can even think of getting close to the idol.

    Unlike the north Indian temples, you are strictly prohibited to touch the idol, which is solely a right for the brahmin pujari entitled with the duty of doing the pujas. You can only see the idol from 10ft away and pray and get going.

    So, it is not the “crime of menstruation” that she was charged with, but the preposterous lie that she was proudly spreading, clearly for Poonam Kapoor-esque publicity – compare it with the Prophet Mohammed paintings and the outrage it created. They were clearly inappropriate and was meant to “deliberately outrage religious feelings”, much like this case.

    Point 3. Now, about the validity of preventing menstruating women from entering the temple premises at the first place. This is basically questioning the ideas and beliefs, going on for centuries restricted to a particular sect interesting in visiting the temple. Do you know that there are 18 steps climbing up to the temple, considered to be the way to penance? And you cannot climb those stairs until you have followed the requisite fasting period and are wearing the right attire and having a “podhi” – a small bundle of few religious things. I could argue that I want to climb those stairs too, even though I havent done the fasting and all. That would not work either, so the idea that such similar beliefs are sexist is misplaced at the first place.

    Also, do you know that atleast in Kerala temples, men are not supposed to wear shirts or trousers (they have to be bare-chested and wearing a mundu) while according to a recent decision taken by the temple boards, women can enter wearing “churidaar” as well (earlier, they had to strictly wear sarees)? Talk about discrimination.

    Conclusion: Do you know that the Sabarimala temple is the property of the Travancore Devaswam Board? So, as per the Indian Constitution, religious authorities are allowed to follow rules and customs that have been followed for centuries. So if you are a Hindu, and wish to be bound by the Hindu rules (else, you are not even allowed inside the Hindu temples), then you have to be following the rules set by temples as well. Simple as that.

    • May 26, 2013 12:17 pm

      Mr. Nobody — We are leaving you on so people can see how a strata of educated Indians think and talk. But you are right — women of India should bring on a class action law suite against the temple and the goverment! Time to leave the dark ages behind!

    • nobody permalink
      May 26, 2013 6:58 pm

      Miss 50 Million Missing Campaign, thanks for “leaving me on”. It would have been better if you could also have actually taken the pain to read through the posted comment. Your reply speaks a lot about your reading and comprehensive skills, since it is clear that you just read a couple of lines, sensed that the comment was obviously not supportive of your post and quickly posted a reply. Understandable since you must be so busy with not listening to comments and opinions different from what you believe in.

  91. ankita permalink
    May 25, 2013 3:41 pm

    wat a insane…

  92. May 25, 2013 7:12 pm

    Please write an article about women not being nominated for being religious leaders in other major religions in India, women being veiled under compulsion in the name of religion, asking women not to drive in middle eastern countries, when they are raped by men they are in turn punished in the name of religion… You guys always target various things in Hinduism to get quick fame and show yourself as secularists… Shameless fellas…

    • May 26, 2013 12:15 pm

      Thank you for the suggestion! Yes, we should ask that question, since there have been feminist uprisings in other religions like Christianity, Judaism and Islam!

  93. Stelo permalink
    May 25, 2013 8:37 pm

    Every age brings forth a new religion. Religions are made for man, by man himself to create a stable society. When hinduism came about, at that time, even women were priests. At that age this was their only solution to keep clean, but now, in 21st century, we have realised how to handle our wastes. Now scientifically, the menstural blood is not even considered a waste.. Like sperm banks, stem cell banks are being created to store menstural blood of women, because it is rich in stem cells. There are hundreds of doners around the globe. I think its time religions are bent, and reformed, because the present generation has reformed themselves. And if any man objects, just ask him to produce a baby himself……….!

  94. May 25, 2013 11:18 pm

    Reblogged this on JUSTICE FOR WOMEN and commented:
    Is menstruating a sin? A crime? Or a divine punishment in traditional countries?

  95. May 26, 2013 12:17 am

    Indian superstitions SUCK BIG TIME

  96. May 26, 2013 12:33 am

    295 IPC prescribes in the maximum 2 years imprisonment and hence cognizance of such offences comes under the bar of limitation of taking cognizance by any court under Section 468 CrPC i.e. 3 years. Since the said offence is alleged to have occurred about 23 years ago there is no way the police can legally charge her with such offence and investigate the offence or prosecute her. This is highly excessive and unwarranted. As for the general prohibition in the temple against allowing women of 10-50 years age, that is also wholly discriminatory and the classification is bad and is hit by Article 14 of our Constitution. If the purpose is to prevent pollution only, they (temple priests) may have some reason in asking for not allowing women with menstrual periods not to enter the temple but cannot outright ban the entry of all women i.e. of women who are not ‘polluted’ even (according to their own norms). The question can be asked if Saraswathi or Lakshmi or Durga comes in human form to visit the temple, would the priests still ban their entry? May be it is hypothetical and humorous but still the reasoning of the priests is, even according to their own prejudices, quite wrong, discriminatory and infringes Article 14 of the Constitution. So I hope the police will immediately withdraw the case against the actress and also the priests withdraw such senseless bans. Only they could request the visiting women, not to come into the premises if they are in menstrual period, and go by what is honestly (presumption of honesty should always be there in favour of the pilgrim) stated by them.

  97. May 26, 2013 10:07 am

    We must change
    Change we must

  98. Nandini permalink
    May 26, 2013 11:29 am

    When it comes to such rules, as interpreted through religious codes, especially Hindu codes, we have to remember what it stands for: temples or Hinduism as a religion, is not concerned with morality if we understand it by ethics (the difference between good and bad) but rather “duty” (morality is judged by the code of should and should not’s – right and wrong). If you read mahabharat or gita, krishna’s advice to arjun is often malicious and evil but it is considered to be the “correct or right” action to do at that time. If it was about morality as in the ethical questions of good and bad, human beings would not be sacrificed to please or appease a deity. Human sacrifice is tantamount to murder and for generations it was permissible and popular even; followed by animal sacrifice which happens till today. Clearly indicating that our god’s enjoy the blood of an innocent life being murdered for no reason or fault of its own but it is deeply averse to the natural menstruation blood that indicates fertility and the divine power to conceive and nurture a new life. Temples and religion was a created by man to perpetuate a body of myth so as to dominate and control over resources – women being a resource, their womb being a resource. Hence the fear of menstruation, is directly linked to the fear of presence of power in the resource to rebel authority and free itself. The woman’s flesh and body, her sexuality is intimidating to man and hence such irrational and ridiculous rules to shame them of what should be their greatest pride – the time of the month when it is reinstated that of the two types of humans, only women have the power and the choice to nurture another life within its own body. Since evolution, men must have worried themselves to death that they could only do as much in perpetuating their own bloodlines and nobody else but the mother knows who the father is (explaining the fear of the woman’s womb and menstruation that represents her individual power). Therefore, this is about the power dynamics than anything else.

  99. May 26, 2013 11:41 am

    Reblogged this on Kapil Jain and commented:
    An interesting Read…A different view

  100. G venkatram permalink
    May 26, 2013 12:12 pm

    My mother was very progressive 40yrs before. She never bothered nor treated menus as a untouchable act. In fact she encouraged my wife to do pooka also on those days. I an very fortunate I had a mother with liberal views . She is no more now

  101. May 26, 2013 2:03 pm

    Enough of the pseudo intellectualism here!

    For the people who I see mostly commenting here, let me clarify things about the temple, the controversy and the region.

    1. The temple is Sabarimala , the deity is Ayyapa swami (the only ayyappa temple in the world , the rest are all shastha temples) . The history behind the temple is Ayyappan was tricked by his foster mother to go and collect tiger milk , so as to cure her pain which she was feigning. Why did she feign pain? Because she wanted her younger ,biological son to become the next king , and not ayyappan. She wanted Ayyappan to be killed trying to get Tiger milk!

    2.All those who want to climb the 18 holy steps of Sabarimala have to undergo a 41 day fast and celibate life in all means. This includes men and women. Girls above 10 and below 50 are not allowed to Sabarimala because of the trickery by his foster mother at the time of delivery .

    3. Kerala, the region where Sabarimala is located, has the highest female to male ratio in India and there are more women than men in Kerala. Fact. Check it out if you want.

    4. Most women are not denied employment and it is a place where women enjoy a lot of freedom, compared to the rest of India( maybe except Malappuram which is a muslim dominated region. Even there it is better compared to other states).

    5. It is a sin for a man to drink, smoke or masturbate before going to a temple. A temple is a holy place and cleanliness is next to godliness. For the people who have argued that semen is unclean like menstrual fluid, let me remind you that semen does not flow out like it happens with women during their menstrual period.

    6. Kerala is a land where Bhagavathy/chamundi (Mother goddess) is worshipped a lot and the mother is even considered highest compared to Shiva or Vishnu , in the hindu trinity.

    7. Kerala is a matriarchial society along with Tulu nadu , and unlike the rest of India where men rule the roost.

    Kudos to nobody and Shruti who explain things as it is . The author of this article has not explained the background nor the rationale and the current state of society in Kerala at all.
    So I urge the author to visit temples such as Kodungalloor, Chottanikkara , Attukkal etc and understand how women rule in Kerala. During attukkal pongala festival, men(other than the priests) are not allowed inside the temple.

    It is still unclear and totally ridiculous how Jayamala even got near the temple, let alone enter the sanctum sanctorum , as she claimed, because only priests can enter the sanctum sanctorum and touch the idols in Kerala, unlike other temples outside Kerala .

    There is one clear discrimation against women in Hinduism though. Priests inside the place of worship are all men, but then I can see the same parallel with Christianity , Islam , Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Buddhism and most other isms.

    Get your facts clear first , understand the rationale behind the traditions and comment later!
    Please . ..

  102. May 26, 2013 3:00 pm

    To enter a Temple….the most important thing is that how clean we are mentally not Physically….however physical existance in this world is limited…our acts and deeds matters…
    Clean your mind guyzzz..and start focusing on mental purity not physical. Menstruation if would have been a crime…then its God to be blamed…since he created us not a lady who enters the temple. How can anybody question God’s Creation.

  103. Rajkumar permalink
    May 26, 2013 6:34 pm

    I read the article ‘Is it crime to menstruate? At the first it looks like as if the people in this country are stupids. But if you have an analytical understanding then you could realize that that this is not stupidity but mass selective stupidity. In case if some one spreads the news that the menses of the women has an auspicious power to bring in wealth to the family… then the same people would be in mad race to capture it!.. Long live the wealthy stupidity of the masses!!

  104. anonymous permalink
    May 26, 2013 7:37 pm

    i am also a hindu, but I don’t find any difficulty in keeping away myself from rituals in those days, since my periods are always painful, on the opposite I feel like every women should get relieved from their duties whether It is household duty or office work at least for 2 days. And if in any part of India women r suffering due to any beliefs that menstruation is untidy because etc ….its mainly the lack of education….do something for that not just pointing some parts of the incidents like jayamala case, before u report anything go through the whole incident , its legal aspect….its religious aspects…its moral aspects and the most important the practical side….plsssssssss. nd for u r information..Muslim women are also exempted from their religious rituals during their periods…and if in our society it is like that u cant go to temple after having non veg food unless you take a whole body shower, after having sex unless u don’t bath u cannot enter the temple, and for some fasts we are not allowed to lead sex life………all these r rituals ….what you will do for all these……..not allowed to go to temple is not a single issue there are many situations in which even men are not allowed to go to temple.

    • May 27, 2013 7:42 pm

      Yes Muslim women are excluded from many practices and there is a strong feminist movement in Islam that’s fighting these rules and rituals. Why do you think Hindu women are not doing the same?

    • anonymous permalink
      May 28, 2013 11:17 am

      There is nothing to fight for this , I feel so…when u said so why hindu women are not fighting…I feel like a child saying that “I wanna go go to school, but I will not follow any rule over there, I wanna do it in my way”……..I don’t feel like to fight since I am getting the freedom here….no one is compelling me to do any rituals….any fasting….any particular way of prayers….if you want u do otherways don’t do..i am free to mingle with society, nd no one is stopping me here from being educated.

  105. Uncensored Enlightment permalink
    May 26, 2013 8:37 pm

    Many may wonder what is with the idea of calling a woman on her periods unclean, polluting! like many religions emphasize. I felt it has something to do not just biologically but also psychologically. We often breed dogs when the female dog is on heat, ie when blood is ozzing out on her genitals! so a female animal on heat could attract or seduce a devotee and obstruct his devotion to his deity! Lord Buddha never allowed female followers in his ashram and changed his mind when Ananda cried an pleaded to allow them but the moment women entered ashram one of them fell in love with Ananda and tried to obstruct his devotion! Buddha says ‘It is nature’s law that rivers wind, trees grow wood, and, given the opportunity, women work iniquity. ‘

  106. Sarulakshmi. R permalink
    May 26, 2013 9:44 pm

    Thank you for this illuminating article. I belong to the southern part of India where this horrific culture is very common. I am sure every girl in kerala get offended due to the same reason. Often it is the mother and other old female members at home who try rectify girls and “enlighten” them with their conventional norms. I myself has been a victim! But the sad part is due to the deep integration of patriarchal-religious views girls themselves consider themselves as pollutants.

  107. Veer Rao permalink
    May 27, 2013 12:54 am

    Well dont being soo hypocritical. If women are not clean ( which i believe to be true ) men are also not clean ( which also I believe to be true). Dont worry about everything on earth. People who are hypercritical make rule for others. But in truth they lack sense and objectivity. The truth is that strong devotion towards Paramatma does not need to you to visit temples always or to visit only during certain times or to pray always expressly or during specified times. As human imagination is boundless, so is his devotion, so is his intelligence and so is his ignorance and stupidity. Dont worry about everything on earth !!

    Moreover, excuse me for making the below point:

    As far as I understand and my analysis goes, in the olden days this particular rule is made to forbid women in who are going through these cycles because there was no enough means to hide or to clean that, particularly for common folks who could not even afford to dress themselves fully and properly. Only the rich and powerful could afford the means to take required measured. So the religious heads have decided to forbid women to enter temples ( atleast) where they used to praise and respect deities (devi and devatas being representatives of Paramatma and not God themselves). Now in this modern age women have various means to take punitive measure with advancement in technology, intelligence and awareness which negates the basis on which such rule has been made in olden days. So in the modern age a women undergoing certain cycles can go to temple always and menstruation has nothing to do with strong devotion towards Paramatma. The only problem with the todays world is that the religion specially Sanathana Dharma ( Hindu) is not updated according to the advancement in human civilisation. Such updation can only happen when women thing right, think what is supposed to be, and follow the logic and religion and fight for the right argument bravely. These rules which are purported to be against women are not actually against women but are punitive measures of those olden times and has nothing to do with men at all. Kindly dont get into such nonsense thinking which could make you gender biased which you actually fighting against for, but could bring the same thing from the back door.

    Women are always welcome to temples and read holy books and nothing on earth forbids them form doing so. Our holy books are not anti-women. They only need right interpretation. In the olden day there were great women like Arundhati, Athrayie, Gargi, Saraswati and many more who have studied vedas and other religious texts and have attained the ultimate in spirituality, brought order in the society, placed women on the top with respect and proved that women are men belong to the same creation. So dont speculate too much and learn to measure backwords and forwards equally. This would protect you from being wrong and illogical.

    Thank you ….my class is over !! Cheers !!

  108. ramadoss permalink
    May 27, 2013 3:35 am

    First of all try to ensure proper toilet facilities for girl children in the schools. Any school(even girls schools) for that matter in our country is reluctant to look into this issue positively. Its is an irritant for girls more particularly in ‘those days’ which they silently have to bear up for the whole daytime in school.

  109. anonymous permalink
    May 27, 2013 9:45 am

    not only during period, after delivery for 1 month we r strictly not allowed to do anything, and up to 3 months only some minor duties, since it is difficult to handle a new born and house holds simultaneously, it is in a way to keep women away from all her duties in those days so that she can take rest. All the rituals are made for human benefits but it’s upon you …how you take it how you follow it, instead of blindly following something one has to think the logic inside it. For all these changes quality education is a must, and guts should be there in each women to oppose anything against them.

  110. Dalip Langoo permalink
    May 27, 2013 2:32 pm

    Incomplete knowledge about a particular system is very dangerous and to acquire it one has to adopt its disciplinary criteria and proceed with its toughest rules. This is an ancient pic of some female statue placed in some temple belonged to a Tantric system that has such strict rules and to allege such system, is not fair. This has nothing to do with any biased intention that you have come up with criticizing a particular sect of ancient Indian Tantric traditions. Do pl come up with full information else do not mislead masses about the same. Mentioning Kamakhya in your article is temple made out of one of the body parts of Sati that Vishnu had cut her corpse into 52 parts. This temple of Goddess Kamakhya is in itself an example of broadminded approach of Indian mind set that with passing of time is diluted with so much of misinformation that one can not imagine. Hope sense may prevail.

  111. Neha permalink
    May 27, 2013 3:21 pm

    LORD..ALMIGHTY Sees The Purity Of The HEART AND THE IMMORTAL DEVOTION During The PRAYERS..not The purity Of The MORTAL body..these men who are claiming women to be impure..Shame on them..their Heart And Soul are not clean..why don’t they realize this fact that such expression of being religious is Not At All Acceptable In The GOD’S HOME..they should first clean their soul and should then attempt to bomb on Women’s Purity..

  112. Sowmya permalink
    May 27, 2013 3:50 pm

    Very good article with a very good discussion thread following. Its really a positive sign to find discussions on these topics. But v need to act not just discuss. I feel it will be of little use in asking our elders, debating with them that they should stop these stupid meaningless practices but we have to make sure that v ourselves wont follow these and will see to that our daughters or younger generations will never follow these practices. If each one of us stop these practices at our home, it will automatically gets eliminated from the society in the near future!!!

  113. neena permalink
    May 27, 2013 6:06 pm

    restriction is not because of menstruation but females who are sexually attractive are not welcomed there since the worshippers are strictly leading sexless life over the pilgrimage period. Now a days it is not practical since a child of 3 yr nd woman in her 80’s are found equally attractive by some of our men. pls don’t manipulate things and impose u r views without having a broader concept of the matter.

  114. May 27, 2013 10:27 pm

    Absolutely ridiculous! They live in the dark ages over there, and don’t they have a loving God who forgives everything? Or do they have gods of hatred?

    • anonymous permalink
      May 28, 2013 4:40 pm

      Its all customs that has been followed by years, just like baptism and holy mass in Christianity. suppose u r strictly following the ideology shown by god but not giving any imp to the rituals like baptism , so u think god will ignore u and all your good deeds only for that.

  115. May 28, 2013 9:55 am

    All the religions treat women as second class citizens. Christians won’t allow them to enter the altar, Muslims won’t allow them to travel without pardah, Hindus treat menstruation as pollution!!

  116. May 28, 2013 11:54 am

    I have a condition that means I don’t menstruate, so I guess my soul is just purer than other women’s souls? Or it could be hormones and biology and such, you never know. Either way, I can only assume that since I can’t be “unclean”, all of these restrictions would not apply to me. I mean, they’re about cleanliness and holiness, right? Surely they’re not just about making women feel ashamed of being women, and keeping them in “their place”. SURELY.

  117. May 29, 2013 3:08 pm

    This is probably the root of the low status of women and the violations perpetrated on them.

  118. May 29, 2013 11:25 pm

    Gr8 article… Eye opener indeed!!!!….. Being male, I apologies on behalf of Mr Chandu to all those females and males who got offended. Lets not get into male VS female discussion. Though I respect everybody’s thoughts I have my own opinion on the subject.

    Some good pandits made rules for benefit to the society and helping an individual but then let it be a male or female, those rules are TWEAKED for self benefit by the bad pandit in power at that point of time.

    E.g- Female when menstruate, lot of blood goes out of body and she become weak. She need time to recover and should get adequate rest. Good pandit made rule that when female menstruate she should be kept in separate room and should not do any work and should not even come to other part of house to avoid her doing any physical activity so as to conserve her energy.

    Now Bad pandit when in power TWEAKED the same thing on name of religion that its impure, dirty so they need to be separate etc..

    My opinion is lets neither play MALE VS FEMALE nor GOOD PANDIT VS BAD PANDIT in power ; let the menstruating female decide whether she is feeling weak and need separate room for rest or she is strong, healthy and has energy to do physical activity if she requires.


    • May 30, 2013 4:17 pm

      That you for being so chivalrous and allowing women to make their own choice. But if women don’t get that ‘permission’ from the rest of the male society, they are still going ahead with leading their lives and making their own choices, thank you!

  119. George Augustine permalink
    May 30, 2013 2:45 pm

    This is a typical case of misdirected rage that naturally leads to ludicrousness. No doubt that there are serious misconceptions about menstruation among the modern primitives as a result of misinformation. But to malign or oppose a certain tradition is utter nonsense. There is a temple in South Kerala where traditionally only women can enter. Even the priests are women. I’ve never heard of anybody protesting that. Sabarimala is a similar tradition.
    If somebody wants to have darsan of a deity one loves and respects, one should follow the traditions of the deity or personality. Jayamala could have gone to Sabarimala after menopause, if she really cared for what the deity stands for. Ayyappa is an ascetic and the traditional worshippers who come there come there as temporary ascetics, having renounced sex for that time. Then to have pheromone-dispersing women in their midst is not only inviting disaster to the self, but also causing utmost harm to the pilgrims who have taken hard vows in order to come there. It is a disastrous dismeanour.
    All sensible people, both men and women, can understand the female anger at the social injustice in many spheres of life and empathise with them, like I do. It would be worthwhile for the whole movement if the leaders do educate their followers on tradition and culture. One way of doing it will be to identify the historical faults and analyse the globally dominant scriptural dynamics. To let loose one’s anger blindly on any tradition is not only foolish but also detrimental to the whole new generation of promising young women, who could really make a change for the better universally.

    • May 30, 2013 4:16 pm

      That’s your solution? “Jayamala could have gone to Sabarimala after menopause.” Women should wait in their houses till they’ve menopaused to start living, praying and doing whatever else with our lives. Sounds like we need to turn up the decibal of our rage 🙂

  120. George Augustine permalink
    May 30, 2013 5:51 pm

    You should first ask yourself why does Jayamala want to go to Sabarimala? If you are turning up decibels without reason, it becomes cacophony. Rage should be controlled in order to be effective. I stand with women for their every right. But I also don’t think this Jayamala article is doing women any favour either. It is these kind of articles that are a disgrace for women.

  121. Marie Stannus permalink
    May 30, 2013 7:29 pm

    Read The Red Tent, on this issue in Judaic society. I suppose in some traditional societies women who fed their babies for long periods may not have menstruated for years. Was this seen as purity?

  122. Lalli permalink
    May 31, 2013 12:02 am

    All of the commentators and the author i suppose are highly educated and have some scientific brain to rationally analyze such a subject. But the pity is that it is seen as a superstitious Hindu practice, which it is not. It is a cultural practice of this land to ask menstruating women to take rest in a separate enclosure. Now like the good pandit lets see the reasons :-
    1. Women hormone production, function and its interplay physically and mentally are extremely complex and fluctuate for various reasons and especially during the pre-menstrual and menstrual period. This produces some kind of a different body odour than regular odour and this is acknowledged by women generally. Their general health is also down during those days. Now, science has just found that there is something called phermones that are some kind of chemical odour produced by men and women and they get attracted by the sub-conscious kind of phermone odour, which is supposedly also a reason for attraction and affection. Bad body odour (subjective) adversely affects inter-personal relationships too, it is thought.

    2. Human sense of smell is not that powerful. But the sense of smell of carnivorous animals including lions, tigers, cheetahs, jackals, fox, wild dogs and snakes etc are very very powerful. Please remember that India was a tropical jungle and all these animals and more lived very very freely in ultra large numbers. Every square kilometer of India was packed with such wild beings. India’s population was also around 30 Crores only till the early 1900’s and this included Pakistan and Bangladesh as part and parcel of India. So for every human there would have been an equal number of animal. So for every carnivore or snake or other ultra sensitive nosed creature that roamed around the scent of a menstruating woman would be easily picked up. Animals like elephants or bison could also scent such odours from a long distance. (if you want to take a test, just try this…definitely all loud mouthed ones here – Ask three or four regular women together to take a walk in streets with street / stray dogs roaming around. The street / stray dogs would not even care. But try the same with one / two / three menstruating woman and the street dogs would snoop around / bark / follow her / them sniffing. Do you want to try it ? )

    3. There were no bathrooms at home for many of the families / communities and women had to take bath either in the village pond / river / lake etc and menstruating women would feel most embarrassed to take bath after washing their clothes. So they would have been prevented to use the common bath.

    4. So, if a menstruating woman would go for a walk freely in the olden golden environmentally unpolluted India, the possibility of her attracting any of the animal / pack animals was very high and I think our ancestors had found out this through careful observations and then decided upon the idea to confine menstruating women at home for their own safety reasons. Of course, the first ones to have issued these orders would have been elderly women and not men ! ( I dont think any one of you here would be foolish to attract and face a tiger, lion or a mean pack of jackals, foxes, hyenas or wild hunting dogs and that too when you are a bit weak, with a scent that they would pick up from miles, and die a horrible death of being torn to pieces when alive or picked up and trampled to death by wild elephants….dont know much about what poisonous snakes would do, so i will leave it to your imagination… sounds horrible, right, but that was reality at that time ). (sharks are supposed to pick up the scent of a drop of blood from miles away, it has now been found)

    5. There were no holidays (weekly, fortnightly, annual etc) for the women who had to toil from morning to evening in all households. They never had even time to sit down. They had to get up by something like 4 AM and go to sleep by may be 9 PM. (no electricity so dinner and sleep were early and getting up for agricultural practices was also early). So a menstruating women would naturally get her quota of holidays and that too naturally when she was weak. Remember, Indian women were very fertile and would give birth to children even upto 10 or more over a period of about 15 – 25 years from their age of 15 to 40 and this would have had a bearing on their health. Having a monthly holiday in between their pregnancy terms is well deserved and was a kind practice on them.

    6. Last but not the least, women have a different body type during menstrual period and their mood too fluctuates wildly. This has not changed with so much of advancement in medical management. The theory that women’s body is different during menstrual cycle was systematically and conclusively proved by our ancestors who found that out by a simple way. I dont know if they found it by accident or by conducting deliberate experiments. But the fact remains true to this day. We all know the holy Tulsi plant that is worshipped in many Hindu households even today. It would just wither away if a menstruating women even breathes on it / touches it. This is true and proven. If you want you can also try that. So, naturally our ancestors thought that this period of a women was not good omen and so had kept them in shade relaxing with lots of tender coconut water, palm fruits, spinach rich food, more gingelly oil etc for maintaining their health, which I think is perfectly good for the women of those age.

    7. Last but not the least, just dont think that women who go to work or manage to work during menstrual cycle in this modern age are doing something more productive or contributing to society. They may well be endangering their own personal health in ways not yet found / revealed by medical science. Making a women to take rest when she is not physically fit is the best she can get and not make her run around just because some multinational corporation has come up with some jelly filled pads that would absorb the discharges better. I think women are falling for the women napkin commercials are pushing themselves against the order of nature. More scientific research needs to be done on this and women should be advised accordingly.

    someone had compared semen release to that of menstrual cycle. In India, if a man has had a copulation, he is supposed to take bath and then only do his duties. This would mean that the body odours from his own fluids and that of his partner after copulation are cleansed thoroughly. Every rule had a scientific foundation in India and was not blankly accepted. In Arabia boys died due to sepsis caused by sand sticking to foreskin of penis after urination and so sunnat originated. So every civilization had its own rules of do’s and dont’s based on some idea which has something to do with science. So dont just ridicule them or jump to conclusions. Think rationally as to what would have been the cause and at what point of time this would have originated and for what purpose and you can understand their significance. Just dont wear the modern sunglasses and interpret history and its contributions. We are still surviving on the cereals, pulses, vegetables and fruits discovered by our forefathers and the traits passed on by them either through practice or through genes, remember.

    • Samira Goth permalink
      June 20, 2013 7:49 pm

      This comment is very factual and I am glad to read it!

    • sushmita permalink
      October 13, 2013 2:44 pm

      what is the logic behind my husband, who is in the middle of his ayyapa diksha, dissapearing from home for 3 days the moment i get my period? I don’t get any of the so called rest everyone is harping about, i still have to look after the house. So obviously i m impure so he leaves? So impure that he cant even talk over the phone? And its just not my husband, its all the men taking diksha. And do u know what happens? EVERYONE now knows that i m having my periods. What about my right to privacy? Every religion has rules, but bad, stupid rules should be changed. Like they will change at my house very soon

  123. May 31, 2013 12:27 pm

    Nonsense, these are weired figments of imagination. If menstruating is dirty, what about urinating, defecating, running nose, bleeding due to accidental injuries, and so on…. there can be an endless list ? It’s futile to crowd your mind with nonsense.

    • neena permalink
      June 2, 2013 12:58 pm

      urinating, defecating, vomiting all are considered as same as menstruation……. even incidents like death and birth have some sort of rituals…..
      it is natural that rituals of one religion may seems funny weird to some who believes in some other for Sikhism men never cut their hair, Muslims cover their hair and face and sometimes whole body, during holy mass the particular wine and I don’t know the name of that particular food is not given to some one who has never received baptism, some people never take any medicines for any disease instead they believe in prayers, some never wear ornaments , some one mat look after a dog just you take care of u r kids, some may hate dogs, some eat pork some people never touch, some eats beef some one not; it should be noticed that instead of all these the people are still living here. If u don’t believe in any custom don’t follow it, but cannot insist that all should do that.

  124. Gautham Kashyap permalink
    June 2, 2013 4:05 pm

    All this story is a ridiculous, illogical and unscientific. It is aimed in throwing dust on Indian Culture by others with western influence without under standing and with out studying, without historical spiritual scientific knowledge – Sridhar Kumar Gauham Kashyap

  125. June 2, 2013 7:59 pm

    What a great stream of comments. I believe no single reason would suffice to explain such gender bias… It cannot be men alone, religion alone, culture alone, traditions alone… It is about a problem deeper than that. Each reason needs to be dealt with properly and a holistic approach alone can help. And, only women do not have to fight for it, I believe everyone who sees and understands how unjust these issues are should fight against such things. Well, even if few, I’m sure there would be sensible men out there too, Few have commented here as well. And, on the contrary, there would also be women who might be knowingly and unknowingly giving impetus to such ridiculous practices. The change can come, its we cannot sit, comment and keep on blaming the society. If we just take care of ourselves and follow what we believe in, not caring about the world or family or society, change would happen. Society is formed by each one of us.

  126. July 16, 2013 11:02 am

    High time to Stand against the wrong..
    Ensure that your daughters are not judge on the basis of some ugly custom, no matter what the society, family members or anyone says..

  127. Anu Ratha Vikneswaran permalink
    July 16, 2013 3:20 pm far as I know the reason why females are not allowed into temples n mosques during the menstruation is not because of evil..simply because those days we don’t have pads, tampon n etc n they don’t want to dirty the sacred places like this .. It’s has been followed for thousands of years but ppl misinterpret the reason n blame the blame that poor girl is gender bias…sadly most of the educated ppl still believe that females are dirty.. Wake up ppl

    • July 18, 2013 11:05 am

      Even if in “those days” there were no tampons, it didn’t mean women went around leaking everywhere!

  128. Noosh permalink
    July 16, 2013 4:47 pm

    This isn’t about the unjust treatment of women in this country, because she menstruates, something as natural as shitting, which even men do. It is a natural bodily function which you cannot control.
    Its is just a waste of our time and resources and our judicial system to try a women for menstruating 23 years ago! There are far too many important issues that are not looked into because such stupidity is wasting the time of the courts!

  129. July 16, 2013 7:31 pm

    thanks for this excellent article, its a pleasure to list it on allshare

  130. Nirmal Christopher permalink
    August 13, 2013 11:10 am

    Destroy All religions from Humanity they are bullshit and useless. All religions portray women to be a slave the best example in India would be this Article and Women is considered to be a sex slave in all the Abraham religions. Boycott religion and the world would be a better place to live.

    • August 14, 2013 10:23 am

      We are not advocating against religion. That we believe are each individuals preference. What we are saying is that the Constitution and human rights under the laws of India must be upheld and held above religions and religious institutions to make sure such abuses don’t happen.

  131. Debbie permalink
    August 14, 2013 1:16 am

    And since when is the word ‘tradition’ being used in place of ‘superstition’?! Why try to make sense of it when it is nothing but a junk piece of superstition that has unfortunately made its way into the women psyche as well? It isn’t tradition, my dears. Hopefully all this will go. Even 66 years after independence, we still hear of discrimination against the so-called “untouchables”. We still have instances of child marriage, Khap Panchayats… Oh yes, we’re a very perverse society, and although, steps are being taken to broaden our views, its probably going to take 70 more years to do away with such nonsense.

    • August 14, 2013 10:21 am

      Debbie — A superstition when followed fastidiously as law — in this case not just by the temple, priest and public, but even by the police and judiciary (given the law suits and arrests) — is a “tradition” isn’t it? It is not “nonsense” to them — it is justified misogyny, just as the expulsion of lower caste people in their heads is justified bigotry! No it won’t go away on its own as long as the law and police are complicit as in this case they’ve been.

  132. Nand Kishore Sharma , Udaipur permalink
    August 14, 2013 11:49 am

    They are insulting all women.
    Shame, shame on treating women this way. So Sad…..

  133. nithu permalink
    October 12, 2013 4:25 pm

    as girl of thirteen u would be astonished that i even landed up reding about this.i am so frustrated with all these rules for my sake. i am or as of now was to perform gharba for vijayadashmi and now because i got my periods i cant.i think its not about men only the entire mindset of people is childish and selfish.hats to that person who wrote about non veg. i wanna eat everythin in teh world and my house SUCKS ! i am surely am awaiting a hostel life so thnx for giving me a reason to justify my point though i pretty sure theyll never listen to me

  134. January 23, 2014 3:01 am

    Reblogged this on Flip It Right Side Up.

  135. July 2, 2014 12:42 am

    Reblogged this on aditisahu and commented:
    Wonderfully presented!If we are still like this in 21st century, I doubt anything is changing even in 50th century! Is this irrational hatred one of the most instigating causes of rape in our country? Something to really ponder upon…

  136. dr juily permalink
    September 14, 2014 9:15 am

    This is really horrible that ppl still follow such stupid superstitions. I just dnt understand that i should laugh at them or i shud feel pity about them

  137. S H Visweshwar permalink
    August 4, 2015 4:42 pm

    I am really amazed that people can create ripples anywhere. I have never visited this temple, because i disagree with some practices. That’s it. But millions swear by it and their belief’s are unshakeable. The lady knew she was ‘not allowed’ and still wanted to visit the place. Society and constituents have some rules which may not be universally accepted. You have a right to disagree, but warped headlines like ‘is it a crime to menstruate ‘ are deliberate attempts to raise hackles..rather succesfully! India has many female gods too! The point of contention is valid, but the article is mischievous.

  138. October 27, 2015 1:31 am

    Reblogged this on Politically In(correct)dian and commented:
    Only in India can you be jailed for visiting a temple while menstruating!


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