'Why Can't Women Enter This Temple', SC Asks Sabarimala Trust
Ayyappa temple of Sabarimala
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the Kerala government and the Sabarimala Temple Trust to explain why women cannot enter the temple.
The court has termed the injunction ‘unconstitutional’. The bench referred to the matter saying "The temple cannot prohibit entry (women), except on the basis of religion. Unless you have a constitutional right, you cannot prohibit entry. Anyway, we will examine it on February 8."
Our country has many such temples which don’t allow women post puberty inside the temples’ premises citing the age old notion of impurity associated with menstruation.
The court demanded the answer from the temple trust and the Kerala government while responding to a PIL filed by Young Lawyers’ Association which sought a lifting of the extrajudicial ban.
The priests at Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala had argued earlier that women over 10 years cannot be allowed in because the resident deity Ayyappa was a bachelor and menstruating women may vitiate the sanctimony of the deity.
There was uproar earlier in November last year when Sabarimala Devasom Board Prayar Gopalakrishnan had suggested that they may allow women to offer their prayers inside the temple once a machine is invented which is able to detect whether women are having their periods.
"These days there are machines that can scan bodies and check for weapons. There will be a day when a machine is invented to scan if it is the 'right time' for a woman to enter the temple. When that machine is invented, we will talk about letting women inside," he had then said.
The temple priest had received a befitting reply in the form of many young girls waging a revolution from Facebook, defying the taboo by posting their pictures with banners and posters depicting sanitary pads. The movement was brought about under the title ‘#happy to bleed’ and had received much exposure in the mainstream media.