Rani Nair, a Kerala based women who live in Toronto, Ontario wrote an open letter to Trupti Desai. Her letter is the representation of all Ayyappa devotees. Here is her FB letter.
I don’t understand why you have to fight for equality for us. Hindu south Indian women. We are a society which follows matriarchal system in India unlike the patriarchal system in your community.
I’ve lived in the North of India a few years, and I was downhearted by how you treat your daughters, and daughter-in-laws. I’m so proud to be born in Kerala as a Hindu woman, where my parents would love me equally or maybe more than my brother, would educate me irrespective of my gender, marry me off like a princess, and I’m always welcome to stay home for as long as I want, even after I’m married.
I’m not considered “paraya dhan” (somebody else’s property) In fact I’m considered the Lakshmi of my house, the Diya not “bojh” (burden) like how you treat your girl children.
Now, you may be astonished to know that, the chunk of my parent’s property, life savings, and anything valuable would come to me and my children, and not my brother or his children, exactly the way it happened for my mother, my grandmother, her mother and all the women before her.
So, if at all you have to fight for gender equality, you should start with your community.
A woman is considered unlucky, if she is not able to deliver a girl child in my culture, unlike yours. If at all there is inequality in Kerala, it’s for the poor Hindu men in my community.
This is exactly the reason, why we as Hindu women of South India, don’t think it’s gender inequality not to be able to go to Sabarimala before we turn 50.
It’s our choice, not something the male chauvinistic society like your’s, imposed upon us.
We Hindu women, respect lord Ayyappan’s choice to be eternally celibate, and don’t want to be anywhere near the shrine before our turn comes.
So, please stop trying to save us South Indian Hindu women, from your fighting for equality drama, and instead start saving your girls. Swami Saranam.
Photo credits: Kalinga TV