Made Snana: shocking remarks

Made Snana: shocking remarks

It is shocking that a former judge of the Karnataka High Court has defended the obnoxious practice of Made Snana, which used to be practised in the Kukke Subramanya temple and some other temples in the state, and tried to justify it in the name of faith and tradition. Justice N Kumar also questioned why judges of the Supreme Court, who had not seen Kukke Subramanya, deliver judgements “which tell us what to do” on issues like the Made Snana. It is strange that a judge thinks it is necessary for judges to visit a place before delivering judgement on an issue related to it. He was not laying down a new and unheard of legal principle, but was saying that this is “our matter’’, and you lay off, the laws and the Constitution and all.  

The more objectionable and retrograde part of Justice Kumar’s position is his defence of what he calls traditional systems, which include Made Snana too. He thinks it is the divisions among believers which have encouraged detractors to paint such practices as violations of human rights. It is clear that he does not think that Made Snana is a violation of human rights and of the right to equality and dignity. He does not seem to know what human rights are. It is surprising that a former judge of the high court holds such a views. What he calls traditional systems are Brahminical privileges, and he thinks any questioning of “our beliefs” is wrong and disruptive.  These are all pop Hindutva positions but it is rarely that we see them deployed so crudely in defence of the most unacceptable practices in society. These arguments might as well be used to justify practices like sati. 

According to Justice Kumar, our belief systems are seen as discriminatory only because they are interpreted from the perspective of human rights. It should be assumed that he does not think there has been any discrimination against women, lower castes or weaker sections of any kind in Indian society. He even calls upon religious pundits to “harmonise their differences” and put forward a single view. No criticism, no debate and no argumentative Indian for him. This is the traditional Hindutva view of an India without differences. Made Snana is a practice that perpetuates the caste supremacy of Brahmins and must be scrapped. The former judge was joined by a professor from Davangere, who suggested that there is a science behind made snana which should be researched. This is the sort of pseudo-science that the purveyors of Hindutva want to perpetuate, merely by demanding research into something that is patently unscientific.

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