Sulagna Chattopadhyay
Geography and You, New Delhi.

The collective effort of humans to organise knowledge has brought us to an age where inequalities are an accepted norm. Religion has through history, acted as a catalyst, assisting societies to bind in a ‘sameness’—organising a community. Despite being same in the eyes of the lord, religion has taught  us that it is fine to have a sacred few who are more human than the others. These exalted beings were therefore granted influence over every decision that affected a community. Any disruption in the established order was and continues to be met with discord. Sabarimala is a case in point. Women down the ages have been relegated to the background—the invisible workers whose contribution to the economy of any nation is barely computed. Represented by yet another divide within the multifarious  divides that keep our societies apart, women are that group of humans who are systematically considered less than equal.  While on one hand women are lauded for taking on a double and sometimes triple burden of work, home and children, stepping out as they are to engage with public spaces—on the other, challenging entry into every domain, especially the religious kind, is hardly acceptable. Perhaps it is time that we shed our biases hidden under the garb of tradition. Seen in the backdrop of earth’s millennial history, the existence of humans seem like a blink of the eye. Human upheavals seem unrealistic and insignificant at a geological scale—yet ‘Anthropocene’ arrives as does the Meghalayan age, when humans cease to be in denial of their influence on planet earth. Human induced changes are altering earth’s geomorphology with humongous mountains of trash dotting cities such as Delhi, not to mention plastic isles in the oceans and more. What is surprising however, is how  religion finds itself constrained in reinterpretation, to adapt to a new order, where seeking human happiness in life or in death is not the only pursuit. Maybe the less than equal can devise a new path where science replaces dogma and change becomes the essence.  

Happy reading.