BY SUSHMITA PATHAK
Two years ago, Padmini Ray Murray created a controversial video game at a hackathon contest. But it’s not just a game. It a microcosm of what’s happening today in India.
In the game, called Darshan Diversion, avatars of women in red saris try to reach the top floor of a temple, dodging miniature Hindu priests along the way. A red blinking light indicates when the women are menstruating. The priests try to block them, shouting in exasperation.
At the Sabarimala temple in the southern state of Kerala — dedicated to a celibate deity, Lord Ayyappa — women of possible childbearing age are banned from entering.
Some devotees believe women of this age are impure; others think they could be a temptation for the celibate god.