In a recent social media post that has since been deleted, Lt. Cmdr. Gokul (@gokulchan) alleged that the exclusion of Smt. Draupadi Murmu, a tribal woman and current President of India, of the dignitaries who presided over the inauguration of the new Parliament building was due to gender and caste bias within Hindu religious practices.
New Parliament inauguration
Lt. Cmdr. Gokul (@gokulchan) tweeted, "When hindu religious priests of upper caste are conducting tthe inauguration of new parliament building it's well understood why smt Draupadi Murmu is not presiding the function. The adheenam would never handover the sengol to a tribal women and conveniently her name was omitted".
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building in the presence of Lok Sabha Chairman Om Birla. The ceremony included the installation of the sacred 'Sengol' in the Lok Sabha chamber, a historical scepter that has significant religious and cultural value.
The 'Sengol' was presented to Prime Minister Modi by the seers of Adheenam, symbolizing the acceptance of the sacred object by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, on the night of 14 August 1947. As part of the rituals Inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Modi prostrated himself before the 'sengol' and sought blessings from the priests representing various adheenams.
Ashok Swain, a prominent academic and social commentator also took to Twitter and wrote, "The day Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building ignoring India's tribal woman President, Manipur police killed 40 Kuki tribals, and Delhi police assaulted and detained India's women wrestling champions."
"Insult To Tribals": Adivasi Congress
Earlier, Shivajirao Moghe, head of the All India Adivasi Congress, criticized the decision to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurate the new Parliament building instead of the president, calling it an "insult" to democracy.
Moghe expressed his dissatisfaction, saying, "For the first time, a tribal is the president, we have a female president. This (inauguration by the prime minister) is an insult to tribal and women. The president is an important part of Parliament since it is the president who addresses the joint session of Parliament. It is the president who must inaugurate Parliament."
He further added: "I don't know if this is happening because we are tribal." Moghe heads the department of the All India Adivasi Congress under the Indian National Congress.
Congress also criticized Prime Minister Modi, stating that "one man's ego and a desire for self-promotion" had denied the first female tribal president her constitutional privilege to inaugurate the complex.
Who are Adheenams?
The word 'Adheenam' means 'ancient community'. Specifically an ancient community that lives around a temple. The Adheenams are monasteries whose sole purpose is to propagate the Saiva philosophy and devotion towards Shiva.
For followers of the Agamic traditions, which include the Shaiva and Vaishnava sects, religious practice aims not only for liberation (mukti) but also for personal prosperity and general well-being (bhukti). These traditions recognized and affirmed the importance of the physical world, viewing it as a realm for both divine powers and those seeking higher states of knowledge.
The origin of this tradition can be traced back to the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Over time, it was revived by prominent Tamil Saiva saints like Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar, who are revered as great spiritual figures. The revival of this tradition led to the establishment of 18 Adheenams in Tamil Nadu.
The Madurai Adheenam, recovered by Sambandar, is considered the oldest. Its main deity is Meenakshi, accompanied by the 18 Siddhas. Madurai Adheenam is active in publishing Saiva literature such as Thevaram and Tiruvasakam, along with various social services.
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