People seem to have a lot of opinions about the Supreme Court verdict about the Sabarimala temple. India as a country is pretty used to the idiotic and frankly occasionally infuriating statements our political representatives seem to make and yet I did not see this one coming. Smriti Irani, our current cabinet minister made the following statement in an event in Mumbai called the Young Thinkers’ Conference,
“I am nobody to speak of the Supreme Court verdict because I am a current serving cabinet minister… I believe I have the right to pray but I don’t have the right to desecrate. And that is the difference that we need to recognize and respect,”
The first time I read that statement it didn’t really make sense. She compared my friend’s house to God’s house and then she implied that my friend would take offence that I desecrated her house, ergo God would take offence and finally that my menstrual blood (contained within my sanitary napkin) is somehow a source of desecration for their respective houses.
Now, I know for a fact that when a girl menstruates her sanitary napkin is constantly steeped in her menstrual blood whether or not she intends to do that.
When Smriti Irani insinuated all of the above and illustrated her belief with an incident about how she wasn’t let into a Zoroastrian Temple, she took all of us right back to where the struggle against this archaic system of faith began.
If we begin turning our noses up at any form of logical change then our civilizations may never progress. This small step in favour of dismantling patriarchy and ending the taboo about menstruation faced this degree of opposition I can only imagine how it would take us to reach the end goal.