Sunday, March 06, 2011

Even Hindus experience clergy sexual abuse

Clergy sexual abuse by Hindus is not something that I write about. I’m an ex-Christian atheist who focuses on the hypocrisy of Christians because that is what I know. However, a fan of my blog wanted me to know that Hindus have the same problem. I had always assumed this to be the case, but I had never looked into it.

Gurukkal Devarajan was arrested for raping a 3-year-old girl in temple located in Kancheepuram. The girl apparently played on the grounds of the temple. Dispite evidence of the rape, the police refused to investigate because just like in America, priests are assumed to be holy men and therefor unable to commit these types of crimes. Well – at least in American this mindset no longer holds sway. The community forced the issue.

The police refused to believe the story till in the evening today when they “were forced” to file an FIR under sections 354, (outraging the modesty of a woman) 294 (B) (obscene act in public place to the annoyance of others) and 506 (criminal intimidation) against the priest, and remanded him to custody.

The girl in question lives adjacent to the small temple, and she, it transpires, used to play on the temple premises.

The priest stands accused of kissing and fondling the girl, an incident that warrants punishment when it is committed especially within premises of a place considered to be holy.

A man living on the same street alerted the “Makkal Mandram” whose members immediately “made a mountain out of a mole.”

What lesson do we learn from this case? Holy men, pastors, and priests are not granted some special moral powers which renders them able to resist temptation. They are just people acting in a privileged role with the same base impulses common to every other man on the planet (and the occasional woman). If the opportunity presents itself and impulse control is weak or the clergy man lacks a good moral grounding, then horrible things can and do happen.