Supreme Court to examine ban on women’s entry at Sabarimala

The bench also took note of Kerala government's recent stand and termed it as "somersault" saying, "You have filed an affidavit by taking an opposite stand. We will test it also as to whether a can take a somersault or u-turn".

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 13, 2016 4:54 am
Sabarimala temple, women's entry, Sabarimala temple women, Sabarimala women, women, ban, entry ban, menstrual age, supreme court, SC Sabarimala temple, Bhagwad Gita, Vedas, Upanishads, india news Sabarimala: Ayyappa devotees throng at Sannidanam in Sabarimala. PTI Photo

The Supreme Court Friday questioned the practice of banning women from Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, and wondered if man-made customs can prescribe such prohibition when “the God does not discriminate between men and women”.

A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra said it would examine the issue of ban on entry of women of menstrual age in the temple on “constitutional parameters”, and adjudge whether this practice was “intricately fundamental” to religious customs and hence cannot be interfered with.

“The God does not discriminate between men and women, so why should there be gender discrimination in the premises of the temple,” observed the bench as it quoted from a mythological story about Sati Anusuya, who had turned Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh into children.

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“How can you stop the mother from entering the temple?” it asked, adding that neither the Vedas nor Upanishads discriminated on the basis of gender.

Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the Travancore Devaswom Board, sought six weeks for filing evidence, including documents and ancient scriptures, on the issue, and said the practice of prohibiting women of menstrual age in Sabarimala was being followed for centuries.

The bench also termed Kerala government’s recent stand a “somersault.” The state government, in its latest affidavit, has said the prohibition of women is a matter of religion and it is duty-bound to “protect the right to practice the religion of these devotees”. But in its previous affidavit, it had supported a PIL seeking women’s entry in Sabarimala.

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  1. J
    Jai Kumar
    Feb 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm
    Now imagine if this was an issue to do with minority religious issues. Who all would be in arms........
    Reply
    1. A
      adithya dwivedi
      Feb 21, 2016 at 3:46 pm
      as a ayyappa devotte iam saying that iam not at all happy with supreme court's decision please respect the rules and regulations of sabarimala temple swamyie saranam ayyappa
      Reply
      1. A
        Anjan
        Feb 12, 2016 at 3:32 pm
        There is a limit to verything some things are left to religion, why do women insist on going to that particular temple. Supreme court has better things to cncentrate on like pendig suits all over india.
        Reply
        1. A
          A
          Feb 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm
          And present Him before the public
          Reply
          1. A
            ashok
            Feb 12, 2016 at 5:53 pm
            God does not discriminate OK judges of SC which God says that cases can go on for years and years. Justice dela is justice denied. Judges must stop interfering in religious matters but first set its house in order
            Reply
            1. A
              ashok
              Feb 12, 2016 at 5:48 pm
              SC shouldn't interfere in religious matters there are so many cases pending why the supreme Court not taking steps to see no cases are pending and no steps are taken to give sppedy justice.
              Reply
              1. G
                G M
                Feb 12, 2016 at 7:44 pm
                May be time has come for Hindu faith to devise a personal law to the satisfaction of Hindu faith just like Muslim law. Widow's prevention from becoming Sati and marriage of wedow are some welcome reforms. I this issue will also be resolved in near future.
                Reply
                1. K
                  Kris
                  Apr 13, 2016 at 9:50 pm
                  For your kind information, menstruating women stay away from entering temples and performing pujas on their own. I think SC has better things than this to concentrate and make a good research before ping on a judgment. Definitely, I prefer religious faith over consution..one is thousands of years old and other one is hardly 66 years old..
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Silent spectator
                    Feb 12, 2016 at 7:54 pm
                    God needs no myth. Faith based on myth needs to be uprooted. There are other celibate gods but women are not barred in those temples. These myths are created by our society and that needs to be changed. Change is imminent. Also the myth that menstruating women are impure and cannot go to temple- just not correct and I dont think any god will endorse it either.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      Silent spectator
                      Feb 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm
                      It is a pity we fight over small things like this and serious issues remain neglected. How many of us even know that this temple was a Buddhist temple earlier and was converted to a Hindu temple. I personally feel every person of a faith should have access to all religious places of worship of that faith. Time to throw away such patriarchal and double standards set up by our society. There have been good things, there have been bad things done by our society - Time to remove those bad things. Who is going to lose if women are granted entry to this temple. I wonder do we have any temples that bar men from entering and how would that be? The concept of barring females should no longer have any significance in our society. With time everything needs to evolve and so do our society. I personally do not understand how right it is that I am allowed to go to this temple but my sisters (who are more religious) cannot. And what will happen if they are allowed? Will anyone lose anything?
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        Manikandan Annamalai
                        Apr 24, 2016 at 8:37 am
                        I want to talk to those people protesting for women entry in the sabarimala lt;br/gt;There was many temples for ayyapa , the most famous were Sabarimala,ariyangaavu,erumeli,achankovil ,kulathupuzha lt;br/gt;Out of this 5 temples , 4 temples were entry of the women's is allowed but in sabarimala swami Ayyapan was in the form of nithya brahmachari ( bachelor) and it should be clean in all the manners ..lt;br/gt;It was time wasting by sc
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          mohan
                          Feb 13, 2016 at 11:33 am
                          The supreme court at the behest of some people who are determined to spoil the Age old tradition gas sought the explanation from the devosam board.The practice is in vogue for many centuries as belief and respect.The women are allowed with certain restrictions and not fully banned.People know the reality and if the restricted ban has to be removed,people should be asked for the move.If this is done,it should be implimented in All religions.Religious myths and beliefs should not be disturbed or questioned.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            appu
                            Feb 13, 2016 at 3:45 am
                            Please make all places of worship equal to all irrespective of religions.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              raj
                              Feb 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm
                              Can the Supreme Court take a look at"Shah Bano" case where Muslim men after a divorce don't have to pay money for maintenance of ex-wife (exception only for Muslims). It is universally followed - where a divorced man has moral obligation to financially support ex-wife. This is a more urgent issue than whether a Hindu woman can enter a temple or not.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Raman VK
                                Feb 12, 2016 at 3:39 pm
                                Hon Supreme Court should only look at this question from what the Consution promises to citizens. There is no room for questioning faith related aspects which are in practice for thousands of years. I don't know what the Hon judges actually said or meant and what the newswallahs are reporting. The newswallahs are known to add mirch ma to ordinary statements. SC should not overstep and interfere in Hindu faith. They should tread extremely cautiously.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sundara Reddy
                                  Feb 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm
                                  SC comments on religious aspects/beliefs comparing with consutional rights is perverse and crossing limits
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Ravi Shastri
                                    Nov 13, 2016 at 4:43 pm
                                    Guys, There are many temples in India where Men are not allowed ,....It is something we got from our ancients ... We should respect them....
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Ravi Shastri
                                      Nov 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm
                                      My question to SC is how much should i love my family...Should i love /respect them based on my age.....Rather then questioning a culture which is created by very logical people.........Better SC should concentrate on corruption , child labor , providing reservation to those who can not afford good education...
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Ravi Shastri
                                        Nov 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm
                                        providing reservation to those who can not afford good education...***
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Sandy Burger
                                          Feb 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm
                                          There are temples which has no entry for male. Google for it. Apart from that do you know the story behind Ayappa Swami? He is worshiped as celibate. He has taken a vow to remain so and the day he will become non-celibate he will leave Sabrimala. That is the reason women, of menstruating age, are prohibited. If you allow such women the w myth cretaed around Ayappa swami will go away and hence the relevence of pilgrimage. This is nothing but christian missionary propaa to malign hIndus shrine.
                                          Reply
                                          1. B
                                            bangalorean
                                            Feb 12, 2016 at 11:19 pm
                                            beautifully said
                                            Reply
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