Sabarimala Temple Issue
Source: Mathrubhumi English

Discussing the Sabarimala (a Hindu temple complex located at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, India though unlike other temples, the entry to the temple is restricted only for a short period in the year) verdict leads us to two divergent viewpoints legal and regional, the one that states that it was rational and another which says it was incorrect to legalize women to enter the temple respectively.

Firstly considering the legal view- In 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women age of 10-50 from Sabarimala Shrine as they were of the menstruating age. However, on 28th September 2018, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on the entry of women. It said that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious is unconstitutional.

It was a prominent step taken by the government against the religion, apprehending it is a vast contradictory part of India to protect the rights of the womanhood. To which some reacted in a positive manner and some didn’t.

The government responded through these judgments.

A 1 – Supreme Court will not allow any third party role over the entry of women, were to CJI Dipak Misra said, no concept of a private temple.

A 2 – The right to enter a temple is not dependent on legislation, it is a constitutional right.

A 3 – Assailed the practice and the ban on the entry of women of certain age groups were violative of various fundamental rights including Article 17 which deals with untouchability. Also referring to the definition of the term Hindu under various statutes and the women were discriminated against not on the ground of sex but because of menstruation.

A 4 – Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, supported the entry of women into the temple and said that denial of the right to entry of women was violative of fundamental rights.

Meanwhile, Kerala minister K Surendran said: “The state government’s stand is that women should be allowed to offer prayers in the Sabarimala temple. We’ve filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court explaining our stand. Now, it has to make a decision. We’re bound to obey its verdict. The Devaswom board now has the same opinion as of the government.”

This decision of the government made it clear that, that the government does not stand or will not stand against any discrimination of gender on any grounds be it the most significant issue of religion. For government “Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.” ALL ARE EQUAL IN THEIR EYES

The decision leads to a point of enormous contradiction across the country. Many people supported it by tweeting #ReadyToWait movement or #sabarimala on social media platform while others planted their viewpoints in an opposite direction.
Reactions in a positive manner:-

Sabarimala Temple Issue Barkha Dutt
Source: Twitter
Sabarimala Temple Issue
Source: Twitter

Reactions in a contradictory manner

Sabarimala Temple Issue
Source: Twitter

Sabarimala Temple Issue
Source: Twitter

Whereas considering the viewpoint of religion

It was an incorrect decision respecting for all the practices were going on for many years. Even the traditions come from a set of beliefs.

Indu Malhotra the 4-1 lady in the panel of judges opposed the decision by saying- “In matters of religion and religious practices, Article 14 (equality) can be invoked only by persons who are similarly situated, that is, persons belonging to the same faith, creed, or sect,” Justice Malhotra said.

She added: “The right to practice one’s religion is a fundamental right guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution, without reference to whether religion or the religious practices are rational or not.”

Whereas the other beliefs were, Ayappa the son of Vishnu and Shiva. Ayappa was born to destroy a female demon. When Ayappa fulfils his destiny by killing her, a beautiful woman emerges from the body. She asks Ayappa to marry her. He refuses. However, he assures her, he will marry her when kanni-swamis stop coming to Sabarimala. She sits and waits for him at a neighbouring shrine near the main temple which is worshipped as Malikapurathamma. With hundreds of thousands of new devotees pouring in every year, hers will be a long wait. It is partly out of empathy for Malikapurathamma and her eternal wait and it’s also out of respect for Ayappa’s commitment to answer the prayers of his devotees. Since he is celibate, he should not be distracted. And therefore women aren’t allowed to enter the temple.

OUR TAKE

It was the right decision taken by the Supreme Court on the protection of the fundamental rights of women and against discrimination by gender. However on the other hand, if people belief that woman shouldn’t enter the temple then they should contribute a suitable reason other than menstruation which is a biological process and cannot be changed but accepted. Also if there is any belief then it should be kept forward and if it could change then it should be changed. Accepting traditions and believing in them is great but they do need to be changed at times, with the passage of time.

EACH STORY COMES WITH TWO DIFFERENT PHASES. AND HERE WE LEAVE THIS TO YOU.

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