By John Strege
Many surely believe that a dis- should be affixed to Honourable in the matter of Muirfield Golf Club's Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers for its exclusion of women. But what must qualify as the oddest condemnation of the club's membership policy was that put forth by Rajan Zed, an Indian-American who identifies himself as a Hindu statesman.
"Hindus have asked Scotland's Muirfield, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, to open membership to women also," a news release on Zed's website stated. "Zed...pointed out that instead of being proud of its traditions, intransigent Muirfield should be ashamed and embarrassed of its exclusionist policy of barring women members."
Zed, a Reno resident who in 2007 was asked by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to give the opening prayer in the U.S. Senate, called for the Royal & Ancient to remove Muirfield from the British Open rota until it admits women members. Phil Mickelson won the Open at Muirfield last summer.
Zed cited text from the ancient Manusmriti in support of his position: "Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit."
Zed's website notes that he is "an acclaimed Indo-American and Hindu statesman who has taken up Hindu, interfaith, religion, environment, Roma and other causes all over the world." Other causes now include golf.