Social Issues

Women Can FINALLY Enter Sabarimala Temple!

History has been made!

Sabarimala, a Hindu pilgrimage centre known for its famous Ayyapan Temple, will finally have women walking into the temple! The historic judgement was delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who said that the provision in the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, which authorised the restriction, violated the right of Hindu women to practice religion. He also acknowledged that patriarchy in religion cannot be allowed.

The bench also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, delivered four judgments today.

Justice Indu Malhotra

Justice Malhotra, the only woman on the bench, said that the petition does not deserve to be entertained. She was of the view that it is not for courts to determine which religious practices are to be struck down except in issues of social evil like ‘Sati’. She was the only person to dissented on the cast.

“Religious practices can’t solely be tested on the basis of the right to equality. It’s up to the worshippers, not the court to decide what’s religion’s essential practice,” she said.

In 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women at the Ayyapan Temple above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 from offering worship at Sabarimala Shrine as they were of the menstruating age.

Kandaru Rajeevaru, the head priest of Sabarimala, said in his response: “We are disappointed but accept the Supreme Court verdict on women entry.” As of now, some members of the temple’s board, are looking for a possible review petition.

Here are some of the responses to the ban being lifted:

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