Women in general are more likely to believe in and practice a religion than men are. Piousness across the globe and in every religion, is usually associated with women but when it comes to taking a national level decision, we see no ladies leading the march.
The dispute over the 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya where a 16th Century mosque, said to be built by Mughal Emperor Babur stood, has been on for nearly six decades.
The legal battle between Hindus and Muslims in Ayodhya began in 1949 as a title dispute. By the 1980s, the case had shot to centre stage, riding a wave of identity politics. In the early 1990s, the dispute gained popular support and took the shape of a movement, which culminated in the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. Hindu groups believed the mosque was built on the ruins of a temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram.
In the recent development to the case, the Supreme Court constitution bench on Friday March 8, announced a three-member panel to settle the Ram Janmbhoomi – Bari Masjid title dispute case.
The apex court appointed Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu as mediators.
The mediators have been asked to give an interim report within four weeks and complete the process within eight weeks. If the mediators want, they can induct more members in the committee, the court said.
While the world is propagating gender equality, women empowerment and women rights, India on the other hand took another step towards decades long Ayodhya case but with no women during any decision making. The national saw female leadership neither in the constitutional bench nor in the three-member mediation panel constituted by the apex court.
Men who have been fighting over the case for years have failed to come with any peaceful solution. In the recent development too, court ordered for mediators who are ‘men’.
But the question remain – Will men be able to pull it off? Why no women included in decision making over the national level controversial case?
If we look at the case separating it from the communal and religious angle, even then, the question remains relevant and necessary that why no women inclusion in any of these controversial national-level disputes.
It is important to note that 83.4% of women across the globe identify themselves as religious versus 79.9% of men. (The Economist report).
There are about 2,000 women priests in the state of Maharashtra itself. (According to Bhagyalata Pataskar, the director of Vaidik Samshodhana Mandala, an institute in Pune dedicated to the study of the Vedas, Hinduism’s oldest scriptures.)
Women in Islam too have taken tentative steps forward. In 2018, Jamida Teacher, general secretary of the Quran Sunnath Society, made history by leading Friday prayer at a mosque in the Malappuram district of Kerala.
None of these priestess, female spiritual gurus, women religious leaders or even female advocates were heard who deserve a fair chance and involvement in decision making.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. )