Restriction on entry of women in any temple is "unfair" and managements in the temples doing so should change their mentality, RSS said on Sunday, against the backdrop of some cases highlighted through recent agitations in Maharashtra.
"Because of some unfair traditions, at certain places there has been a lack of consensus on the question of temple entry. Such sensitive issues should be resolved through discussion and dialogue and not through agitations," RSS general secretary Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi said at a press conference in Nagaur.
"Women go to thousands of temple across the country but in reference to some, where their entry is an issue, there is a need to change the mentality. Management of such temples should also understand this," he said.
In the recent times, some women groups have been agitating for ending the practice of disallowing women to certain temples like Shani Shingnapur Temple and sanctum sanctorum of Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nashik in Maharashtra.
"Women have been learning the Vedas and also performing religious practices," the RSS leader said.
On 'nationalistic' education
After asking the government to check "subversive" elements indulging in "anti-national" activities in universities like JNU, the RSS on Sunday called for value-based and nationalistic education in an atmosphere of equal opportunity.
Asserting that the private sector was becoming aggressive in the education field, the RSS also pitched for a stronger regulatory body, possibly de-centralised to ensure quality education for all.
The RSS in the annual meeting of its highest decision-making body — Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) — passed two resolutions on education and medical and healthcare, while calling upon the state governments to make efforts to make these two sectors accessible to all the people in the country.
A resolution said the ABPS is of the opinion that every child should get "value-based, nationalistic, employment-oriented and skill-based education in an atmosphere of equal opportunity".
On Saturday the RSS asked the central and state governments to "deal strictly with anti-national and anti-social forces and ensure the sanctity and cultural atmosphere by not allowing our educational institutions to become centres of political activities".
"Privatisation and commercialisation of education has created difficulties for the common man to get their wards quality education. Quality education should be available to all at an affordable price," said Anirudh Deshpande, Akhil Bhartiya Sampark Prakukh of the RSS at the press briefing on the second day of the three-day ABPS meet.
He said a strong regulatory body was needed in the country to take care of it and to "control the private institutions". "Though we have a regulatory body, but we need to strengthen it and if required, it should be decentralised."
Deshpande claimed with the course of time, governments are also withdrawing from the sector of education and budget allocation is also reducing. "Governments are withdrawing and the private sector is becoming aggressive which has made the situation problematic for the student. The government should increase budget allocation for education," he said.
"The government should strengthen the autonomous self-regulatory mechanism for the education institutions in terms of their quality, infrastructure, service conditions, fees and standards so that its policies are implemented in transparent manner.
"It is utmost essential to ensure proper training, appropriate salaries and strengthen the dutifulness of the teachers to enhance their standard, both in state-run and private schools," the resolution said.
"Quality medical facilities should be available to all at affordable prices...There is also need to spread the medical education, inclusion of other branches like Ayurveda and Unani is also required," Deshpande said.
In the resolution, the RSS has appreciated free medicines schemes initiated in some states. "The schemes of free distribution of medicines started in states in last few years and the proposal made for 3000 generic medicines centres by the central government in the recent budget are welcome moves.
The ABPS also called upon the country's industry groups, voluntary and social organisations and charitable trusts to further come forward to make facilities available for people. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, BJP President Amit Shah and other leaders were present in the meeting which began on Saturday.
RSS turns tables, furthers women's issues
The RSS report called traditions like restricting women from entering temples a 'loft tradition', adding further that men and women are equal in spiritual and religious matter, said a Times of India report. Earlier a journal linked to the Sangh had listed reasons as to why women are barred in temples and the need to understand those reasons.
The report emphasised the importance of public discourse on such a 'sensitive issue' adding that agitation and politicization of the issue is unnecessary.
The remarks in the report came after chief of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade Trupti Desai and a group of women were denied entry into the inner sanctum of the Trimbakeshwar temple in Nashik, said an IBN Live report.
Further, the report asserted that a change in mindset would be facilitated once social and religious leadership along with the temple administration join hands in bringing the change.
With inputs from agencies