Nepal Kumari Tradition Is a Violation of Human Rights



The Nepal Supreme Court has ordered an inquiry into the Kumari Tradition of the Newaris, a Hindu sect of Nepal.This is a great move by the court and the tradition should be banned. There is no place for such practice in modern day world.

The tradition:

The kumari is a living goddess and is worshipped in all Newari towns. So each town has a living goddess. The unlucky girl is usually chosen from the age group of five to six. She becomes the living goddess until her menstrual period begins. The goddess lives in Taleju Bhawani Temple in Kathmandu.

The innocent child is not allowed to live with her family, has no social contact and no schooling. This sort of living often leads to depression and other psychological problems. When these girls mature, the parents find it hard to marry them off as people believe a retired kumari brings bad luck.

BBC reports:

The attorney acting on behalf of the petitioner, Tikaram Bhattarai, told the BBC that the committee would investigate whether or not girl children were being exploited under the tradition of appointing a "living goddess". "This is such a landmark order because it should pave the way for modernisation of the Kumari tradition," Mr Bhattarai told the BBC.

A researcher on Newari culture, Chunda Bajracharya, told the BBC that the tradition has not affected Kumaris' individual rights. Ms Bajracharya argues that it has elevated their status in society as "someone divine, someone who's above the rest". "But I think some reform measures need to be put in place to ensure their right to education, sports and all-round social development as a child," she said.