New Delhi: Raising pertinent questions about the controversial issue of restricting the entry of women from the Sabarimala Temple, the Supreme Court on Monday championed the rights of women to pray without being restricted by the various practices of tradition.
The temple administration of Sabarimala had remained adamant on subjecting its women devotees to perform austere activities to gain entry into the temple. Trupti Desai, the head of the Bhumata Brigade which had a successful impact on the entry of women in the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur Temple, has been at loggerheads with other religious institutions which bar women from worshipping on grounds of tradition.
Addressing the temple trust of Sabarimala, the Supreme Court raised the following questions:
– If men can go till a point (near the temple) without undertaking austere activities, why can’t women go?
– If tests of austerity apply to men, why can’t women undertake them?
– Are you associating menstruation with impurity?
– You are making a classification. Can a biological phenomenon be a reason for discrimination?
– All practices are acceptable till there is no distinction between genders.
The temple administration of Sabarimala retorted with the following answers:
– The hill where women aren’t allowed is sanctified.
– The tradition dates back hundreds of years.
– When recruitment for the armed forces takes place, citizens between 18-24 years of age are considered. It may seem classification amongst men, but the reason is endurance.
– BCCI spends money on training only cricketers below 30 years of age.
– Every affirmative action has another side too.
The hearing on the matter will continue further.