14/03/2018: So yesterday we planned to have a quick revision of concepts of science before the board exams. It was late in the evening and somehow the school was closed, so we had to look for some public place to sit and discuss. As we searched our way through meandering lanes of Turbhe, we found a temple which was quite spacious and empty. We requested the priest to let us in and study for the exams and he obliged. All of us were very happy to have found a place to sit and study except for 2 girls. They were very frightened, as if they saw some ghost or something!
When asked one of them said, “They are having periods so they cannot enter the temple!”
I bluntly told them, ” Firstly, you need not tell the priest about it. Secondly, periods are not unholy or anything but a very natural and inevitable cycle. Thirdly, can you consider the womb, our first home as unholy ? Anyways god (if any) will forgive you as you have board exams tomorrow!”
The final argument worked. Considering the importance of their exams we entered the temple and had a good session of study. Nonetheless, a sentiment of guilt and confusion was clearly seen in her face.
As the board exams were priority we could not spend time to discuss why this unholiness is associated with periods.
For making education a method for reconstruction of society, we need to not only factually correct the matter in terms of the content but also try to get it right in terms of context.
Do you think periods are unholy ?
What causes periods ? What happens during periods ? What steps to be taken so that it causes least pain and disturbance to a woman ?
Why people think it is bad omen ?
What is the rationale behind such practices ? Who are benefited by such practices ?
What kind of treatment did our moms and grandmoms had to go through during their monthly time ?
If periods are unholy, what about men’s semen ?
Why is all that has to do with sex so mystified and distorted by almost all major religion ?
Why are we made to be ashamed of our own body parts and natural cycles ?