Friday, November 10, 2006

nov 12th: 70th anniversary of the temple entry proclamation

nov 10, 2006

on nov 12th, 1936, the maharaja of travancore proclaimed that any hindu in his kingdom could enter any hindu temple without let or hindrance.

this was a remarkable declaration. in one stroke, the maharaja had erased a blight in hindu practice which had humiliated 'low-caste' people for a century.

the more remarkable thing is that hinduism is capable of quiet revolutions, wherein it rids itself of the accumulated dross of centuries. extraordinary people like sri narayana guru, dr palpu, kumaran asan, t k madhavan, kelappan, mannoth padmanabhan, v t bhattathiripad, et al, challenged unfair and irrational practices and were able to eliminate them.

hinduism can be reformed; in fact it must be reformed, as the environment changes. it has a remarkable capacity for renewal or resurgence. this is in direct contrast to semitic ideologies that are cast in stone and cannot be changed. and that is the beauty of hinduism: it is a rational, logical religion wherein blind faith is anathema. you are free to question anything, in fact you are encouraged to do so. it's only that which your sense of justice, your intellect, and your heart, can all accept, that you are required to accept. and since most of us have a built-in moral compass -- we are not sinners, unlike the belief of some misguided people -- most of us can figure out what our dharma is, and follow it.

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