Bombay High Court has secured equality for women in the matter of worship at Shani Shingnapur temple, Maharashtra. In its wake, Supreme Court is girding itself to tame misogynistic tendencies of the Sabarimala Temple, Kerala.
Both feminists and courts are fulminating against all religions when it comes to misogynistic practices but swift and strict actions seem to be reserved for Hindu temples. This is bound to sow seeds of resentment on the part of Hindu religious and political outfits that could explode someday into a full blown civil and political crisis.
Feminists can afford to be sanctimonious but not courts. The rule of law must be applied even-handedly and till such time the skew in law in favour of a particular religion is removed, courts should refrain from interfering in the religious practices of one religion to the exclusion of others.
US Congress showed remarkable courage and sagacity in banning bigamy, overcoming shrill and strident protests of the Mormon Church with its dominant presence in the state of Utah. Before ban Mormons were allowed to keep a gargantuan harem of up to 27 wives. Would we dare to take similar action in India? Would we dare to promote a uniform civil code that will be a constitutionally enforceable status from the present wishy-washy directive principles?
Supreme Court says that the Constitution is all that matters but it may soon rue its words when religious minorities smugly cite the constitutional provisions on religious minorities. If our Parliament cannot summon such courage and judiciary can only sermonize in lofty verbiage, then the result is that only Hindu religion can be taken liberties with.