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Religious discrimination against Women must end

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On Gudi Padwa, women enter Shani Shingnapur temple for the first time Image source: www.ibtimes.co.in
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It’s a common trend that where social, political and religious systems fail, the judiciary steps in – as in the case of the entry of women to the Shani Shingnapur temple.

A centuries-old bastion of the patriarchal social construct was smashed to smithereens. The women activists from the Bhumata Brigade, led by Trupti Desai, were successful in entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani temple. Trupti hailed the decision of Shani Shingnapur temple trustees to open the gates of the sacred chabutra (platform) for men and women devotees, and said it was a prudent step on their part.

“Der aayad, durust aayad!” said a spirited Trupti and hoped the trustees at the Trimbakeshwar and Mahalaxmi temples in Nashik and Kolhapur too would follow suit to treat women devotees at par with men.

One would congratulate Trupti for her stoic resistance as it was after her activism that TV debates were generated and many storms raised in teacups besides the national print media highlighting the issue.

Priyanka Jagtap, another member of the Bhumata Brigade, celebrated the court’s observation at the temple premises by distributing sweets. “It’s a big victory for all the womenfolk of Maharashtra and the country. It is an occasion to celebrate,” she said.

The main question that needs to be asked is whether this outburst of activism against ritualistic practices in Hindu temples is a legitimate effort to break the almost 400-year-old tradition.

What’s unfortunate is that most religions talk about gender equality, but it is either totally defunct or reduced to lip-service as totem. The question is whether it is the followers of Hinduism or Islam or any other religion,who vie with one another to deprive their women of equal rights.

The aim of these lines is to convey a message to the custodians of women’s rights – the men – to remind them of the cultural traditions that are mired in gender discrimination. In this context, whether it is Shani Shingnapur, Haji Ali Baba or Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, all these famed religious places have banned the entry of women.

Politically, the BJP has been accused of vitiating the atmosphere in Sabarimala. However, it would be preposterous to suggest that all villagers in this temple town are BJP or right-wing activists. According to social commentator Sreemoy Talukdar, the patriarchal mores lie so deep that even women (and probably more so) were the first ones to take umbrage of the ‘breach’ which they fear will bring calamity on their families.

Talukdar feels that Kerala’s Sabarimala temple authorities have stuck to their stand – in the face of legal scrutiny from the Supreme Court of banning all women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering temple precincts citing ritualistic practices and traditions.

They claim Lord Ayyappa, who attracts more than 50 million devotees each year, is a sworn celibate. They do not want the apex court to interfere in religious practices.

In Mumbai’s Dargah Haji Ali Baba, it is really something totally inexplicable that women are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum in spite of the fact that Islam has granted equal rights to woman. During the days of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Muslim women used to go to the mosque to pray. However, after him, some myopic and orthodox Muslims asked women to stay at home.

Nevertheless, the larger question is about the general exploitation of women by men from all religions.

They are not given their rights and, at the slightest provocation, are maltreated, beaten, divorced and even murdered.

Trupti’s campaign – that of challenging the patriarchal hegemony over religion, its practices and ending stigmas against women – would only materialize truly if the activism continues. (IANS)

 

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Experts Suggest Trending Footwear Fashion For Men and Women

Getting the perfect footwear which has both comfort and style is difficult, but important. Invest in loafers, colourful slip ons and pair them with the right attire, as suggested by experts. Bhavya Chawla, Chief Stylist at Voonik and Surabhi Agarwal, head of merchandising, Crocs India have listed few trending footwears

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Loafers are known to be the laid back version of a dress shoe and are best for a cocktail party for men. These shoes are versatile and comfortable.
Representational image. Pixabay

Getting the perfect footwear which has both comfort and style is difficult, but important. Invest in loafers, colourful slip ons and pair them with the right attire, as suggested by experts.

Bhavya Chawla, Chief Stylist at Voonik and Surabhi Agarwal, head of merchandising, Crocs India have listed few trending footwears:

* Flats are a must-have for casual wear. They are comfortable shoes and very versatile. They come in different colours and patterns and can be worn with jeans, capri pants, maxi dresses or any other wear.

To battle the extremely hot summer, slip-ons can be a saviour. Slippers, flip-flops, slides and open-toed pairs are in trend making the summer look not only chic and stylish but also perfect fit for the season. Speaking of prints and colours, keep it light and pick hues of purple, white, peach and mint.

As for men, a white pair of sneakers is an essential wardrobe item. It can be perfectly paired with most jeans.
Converse Sneakers. pixabay

As for men, a white pair of sneakers is an essential wardrobe item. It can be perfectly paired with most jeans. For a summer vibe, pair your casual shoes with light blue jeans. High top trainers/sneakers are also a huge trend this season. Suede or a coloured loafer will also go very well with your casual attire.

* Every woman should have absolutely drop-dead gorgeous evening shoes. Invest in a silver high-heel sandal, elegant black evening shoes or a multitude of other styles. Peeptoes, this heel should be preferably three to four inches.

This shoe is for dressing up either for going on a date, dinner, or even the company party. The open toe part of the shoe makes you look more stylish. You can pair these shoes with dresses of all kinds, skirts, and high waist trousers/pants.

Loafers are known to be the laid back version of a dress shoe and are best for a cocktail party for men. These shoes are versatile and comfortable. You can wear a loafer with a tuxedo if you choose, or with a pair of khaki pants and a t-shirt.

* The classic black pumps are apt for officewear. This can be worn to the office, work and to any other occasion, one can think of. The shoe should have a heel of two to three inches depending on preference.

This shoe is for dressing up either for going on a date, dinner, or even the company party.
Ladies heels. pixabay

Do not wear black with every colour. There is always a need for other neutral hues like brown, taupe, or beige. However, choose navy if you have clothing in those colour schemes. It can be a low heeled shoe that is also a closed toe. This shoes should be versatile enough to wear with trousers, slacks or even a dress.

If you are not a heel person, then bellies or ballerinas in solid colours are also a good option.

For men, Oxford shoes, brogues will make your outfit seem more formal. Combine a pair of slim navy jeans (cuffed at the bottom), with your favourite pair of dress shoes.

For a less formal tone, wear a pair of brown shoes. Black formal shoes will seem more formal and may appear strange when combined with jeans, match them up with trousers or chinos with a well-fitted shirt. Don’t forget to wear the appropriate pair of socks.

* When going on a beach choosing the right pair of footwear is the vital part. You want your feet to feel comfortable and cool and it should match with your summer dress, shorts or bikini as well.

Oxford shoes, brogues will make your outfit seem more formal. Combine a pair of slim navy jeans (cuffed at the bottom), with your favourite pair of dress shoes.
Brogues. Pixabay

Flip flops are one of the most appropriate choices but there are different styles which you can choose from. You can try out metallic flats as well.

Also Read: Trends That Will Rule Fashion in 2018

Dark florals are in fashion to beat the summer woes. Evening outfits will work best with dark floral slip-ons and slides. Just slip in and go for beach hopping, sunset strolls or pool parties.

For men, the easiest choice is flip flops. They are comfortable and easily available and very effective for their intended purpose. Pair them up with shorts, t-shirts or tanks. Throw on an unbuttoned short sleeve shirt over the top when you walk off the sand for a more stylish look. (IANS)