On Friday, the Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its landmark verdict on the entry of woman into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple. The entry of women, aged from 10 to 50, into the temple had been a topic of debates after the temple authorities had barred the women from entering the temple’s premises. After hearing petitions challenging the ban for quite some time now, the apex court is likely to announce its verdict today.
Earlier in 2016, citing the Constitution, the Supreme Court had questioned the ban, saying that this cannot be done under Constitution. In February 2017, the Court reserved an order on referring the case to a constitution bench. The case has been listed for judgement under Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan. The petition was filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association, challenging the custom of the temple to bar entry of women in the 10-50 age bracket (of menstruating age). In the petition filed, they had termed the custom ‘discriminatory’. The Kerala High Court had upheld the custom in 1991.
Commenting on matter, an activist said that since last couple of months, we have seen that the Supreme Court is bringing out several progressive and landmark judgments; we are hoping that ruling on entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive.
Earlier in 2007, Kerala’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) had favoured the entry of women of all age groups but, the decision was opposed by United Democratic Front (UDF). In 2016, after getting back into the power, the LDF government is again back favouring his old decision. Meanwhile, on one side, women term the practice as discriminatory other sections say, it has to do with complex ritualistic practices of Sanatana Dharma of temples in south India.
After years of protest women across the nation anticipate the verdict in their favour, thus putting an end to a ‘discriminatory’ practice.