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Before we get carried away by what this headline calls the 'gift' of Gudi Padwa, we need to consider what it took to have the Shani Shingnapur temple allow women into the sanctum sanctorum. Men had to...
Recently, I visited my native district Deoghar, situated in Jharkhand, to celebrate Durga Puja. What surprised me was not the scale at which the festival was celebrated there, but the degree of strictness with which people still follow religious rituals. From the looks of it, the rites and ceremonies of worship, including animal sacrifices in the goddess's temple, have not changed for centuries. It made me think how strongly religion governs culture in our society.