The Congress in Kerala came under fire after its interim state chief M M Hassan described menstruation as “impure” and said women should not enter temples during that period.
Addressing a camp for journalism students organised by the State Youth Welfare Board on Monday, Hassan said that during the menstruation period, women should not go to temples and stay put at home. “Menstruation period marks days of impurity,’’ said Hassan, responding to a question on why menstruating women are not allowed to enter the Sabarimala hill shrine.
Women participants at the camp protested and questioned Hassan. One of them said: “If menstrual blood is impure, the same blood is flowing through your veins.’’ Another asked him whether he considered blood and organs impure as well.
But Hassan, who took charge of the state Congress unit two days ago and is considered close to former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, stuck to his stand. He said what he meant was that women should not go to temples during the menstruation period.
Hassan said his observation on menstruation was not his personal opinion. “I was referring to the prevailing situation at the Sabarimala temple where women of menstruating age are denied entry. I was just referring to the prevailing custom at the temple. I am not an authority to make comments on such things. My reaction was distorted,’’ he said.