Sabarimala temple verdict: Bravo, My Lords! But what about these?

Several religious places in the country either bar women or allow them only at certain times. Is the Supreme Court looking their way?

 |  2-minute read |   01-10-2018
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The Supreme Court has no doubt struck a heavy blow in the fight for freedom and women's liberation in ordering entry to menstruating women in Sabarimala

sabarimala_100118095218.jpgThe ancient Sabarimala temple has been in the news intensively. (Photo: PTI)

But what do you propose to do about these, My Lords?

1.) A temple in village Muskura Khurd in Hamirpur Distt of UP does not permit entry of women. Recently, a lady MLA, Manisha Anuragi, visited the temple when the priest was not there, and there has been quite a commotion ever since. The priest said he was not there, otherwise, he would never have allowed the woman to enter. Now, the temple has apparently been purified with Ganga water, and the idol has been sent to be cleaned in the Sangam at Allahabad.

2.) The Kartikeya temple in Pushkar, Rajasthan, does not permit entry to women, as Kartikeya, like Ayappa, is a celibate.

kartikeya1-copy_100118100335.jpgHere too gender rules apply. (Photo: Facebook)

3.) The Patbhausi Satra temple in Assam does not permit entry to women.

4.) In the Ranakpur temple in Rajasthan, women on their periods are not allowed.

5.) In the Chakkulathukavu Durga temple, only women are allowed in the naaru puja during sankranti and the dhanu puja during dhanur maasam.

8.) In the Mata Mandir in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, women only are allowed entry during certain special periods.

9.) In the Mata Mavli temple in Chattisgarh, women are not allowed.

10.) In Kartikeya temple in Pehowa, Haryana women are not allowed.

11.) Mangal Chandi temple, Bokaro, Jharkhand, does not permit women.

The above is an incomplete list which I managed to collate during my research – and there could be many more.

There are some temples debarring men. For example, Atukkal temple in Kerala which debars men during sankranti-pongal, and Bhagawati Ma temple in Kanya Kumari.

Meanwhile, women in many towns in Tamilnadu, such as Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Tirupur, etc., have held "Light Prayer" meetings and declared that they will follow the old custom, not the Supreme Court judgment – they will wait till they are 50 before going to Sabarimala.

sabarimala2-copy_100118102009.jpgThese women have expressed their choice. (Photo: PTI)

Ungrateful ladies, my Lords. 

Also read: Adultery no longer a crime: No, the SC is not promoting moral corruption. It is recognising that adults are adults

Writer

Markandey Katju Markandey Katju @mkatju

Former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.

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