Open Discussion –Worshipping Kumari

Posted by: daulat

The Supreme Court has suggested the formation of a committee to investigate the practice of Kumari worship in response to a petition that said the tradition violated human rights norms and that the chosen girls suffer from psychological damage. The Newari community maintains that it is a time honored tradition. Please use the comments section to discuss your views on the topic. Where should the line be drawn between accepting tradition and violating human rights?

For more information, check bbc.

Open Discussion –Worshipping Kumari was last modified: November 2nd, 2006 by daulat

Blog Comments

  1. tom

    ya well, another one of those contentious subject that can go on till the cows come home.
    am not exactly an opinionated person, but here goes my 2 pence.
    maybe the government and the locals(newari) community find a compromise.
    the girl in question becomes a kumari for a period of years but not long enuf wherein to prompt her being an alien to society / unable to integrate.
    maybe even has a personal tutor so she doesnt miss out on school.
    on the other hand maintain few of the traditions and aura goes along with the “living goddess”.
    not much of an expert on this field or any for that matter .. but if a resolution is to be hammered out, and both sides of the argument to be upheld, this can be the way forward..

  2. shreeya

    well.. i second Raj’s point here fully … i really havent heard much abt exploitation of Kumaris.. they are revered as goddess and exploitation .. well. dont think such incident has happened . and as far as psychological matters are concerned, many ex-Kumaris do recollect with fondness.

    Traditions are a country’s identity. it signifies something unique to us.. if any exploitation of Kumaris are to be found then the person doin so should be persecuted rather than puttin a tradition to an end which is soo unique to us.

  3. Prawin

    I believe that the only pertinent commentary can come from women who were once Kumaris. To say that the tradition should be discontinued would also be to assault the belief of an entire people. To discontinue the tradition in order to protect one girl’s childhood is to assert that an individual’s liberty should come before that of the community. These are not ideas easily resolved: they tug at the most contentious issues at hand: tradition versus radical change.

    It would be wrong to assume that a parent would never want his or her child to have this experience. Also, there are stories about ex-Kumaris re-integrating into the society.

  4. Raj B.Thakuri

    Hmmm… most ex-Kumaris have looked back with fond nostalgia on their years spent as a “Living Goddess”. Exploitation? Abuse? I don’t think so. The institution of Kumari is not like the tradition of Devdasis in India. Rather, a Kumari imposes veneration of a girl-child as a symbol of the power of purity and innocence.
    Ultimately collective cultural ethos should dictate these things. The tradition of Kumari should be abolished when people stop worshipping her. The following makes an interesting read:
    Moreover, I think the Supreme Court and various rights groups would be better off focussing on more urgent issues like child labour, female infanticide and animal sacrifice.

  5. Yestai Ho

    I think we should discontinue the tradition. We can’t have little girl going through this century old ridiculous practice. She has right to enjoy like every other girl of her age enjoy in the world. She can’t be put in display for the fun of others and in the name of saving the tradition. This is ridiculous. Time to wake up and change. I would never let my daughter go through this. Then how can I support when somebody else’s daughter is goring through it.

    Yestai Ho

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