De­spite SC order, women in no hurry to en­ter shrine


DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - INDI - — PTI

Chen­nai: Women cadres of Hindu out­fits of­fered prayers in tem­ples in Tamil Nadu by hold­ing lamps and say­ing they would “wait” till they crossed 50 to visit the Lord Ayyappa shrine at Sabari­mala, not­with­stand­ing the Supreme Court ver­dict al­low­ing them en­try.

Cadres part of out­fits like Bharat Hindu Mun­nani met at the Sri Gan­gadeeswara tem­ple in Chen­nai, say­ing they would not visit the shrine till they crossed 50 years of age and were past the men­strual cy­cle.

A par­tic­i­pant in the prayer meet­ing said, “For us, the an­cient cus­toms hold good, ir­re­spec­tive of whether a court favoured it or not.”

Hindu Makkal Katchi chief Ar­jun Sam­path said that ‘Light Lamp’ prayer meet­ings were held by his out­fit in sev­eral tem­ples in places in­clud­ing Coim­bat­ore, Cud­dalore and Tirupur.

“These are prayer meet­ings to reaf­firm our faith in our cus­toms. In such meet­ings, women vow to visit the Sabari­mala tem­ple only in ac­cor­dance with our be­liefs,” he told PTI.

Women pledged (called ‘kathirup­pom’, mean­ing let us wait) to of­fer wor­ship at the tem­ple in Sabari­mala only when they at­tain the age stip­u­lated by “cus­toms and be­liefs”, he said.

Sig­na­tures, col­lected as part of a cam­paign in this con­nec­tion, would be sub­mit­ted to the no­tice of the Tra­van­core De­was­wom Board which ad­min­is­trates the shrine in Sabari­mala, he said.

The Supreme Court on Fri­day threw open the doors of the Sabari­mala tem­ple in Ker­ala to girls and women of all age groups by lift­ing the ban on the en­try of those be­tween the age of 10 and 50, say­ing this cen­turies-old Hindu re­li­gious prac­tice is il­le­gal and un­con­sti­tu­tional.

“Any rule based on dis­crim­i­na­tion or seg­re­ga­tion of women per­tain­ing to bi­o­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics is not only un­founded, in­de­fen­si­ble and im­plau­si­ble but can also never pass the muster of con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity,” a ver­dict pro­nounced by jus­tices Di­pak Misra AM Khan­wilkar said.

For us, an­cient cus­toms still hold good, re­gard­less of whether a court favours them or not. The prayer meet­ings reaf­firm our faith in our cus­toms. A devo­tee at a prayer meet, Sabari­mala Tem­ple

Women be­tween the ages of 10 and 50 weren’t al­lowed en­try at Sabari­mala

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