Despite SC order, women in no hurry to enter shrine
HINDU WOMEN OUTFITS SAY CUSTOMS STILL HOLD GOOD, TO WAIT TILL THEY’RE 50
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