In a Landmark judgement, the Supreme Court has ruled that all women (irrespective of their age and thereby their fertility status) may enter the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala, Kerala.
Justice Indu Malhotra, the sole woman on the five member Judicial Bench was notably the only judge to feel that the centuries old practice was best left unhindered. The other judges (all male), in the earnest spirit of Judicial Activism that is currently pervading the air, had decided that women are best given access to the Divine Celibate. The thought, many probably fear is beastial, but the Celestial may have reasons for guiding the Judiciary thus.
No Exodus expected from Female devotees
It is not as if a particular community had been barred from the village well and forced to walk miles for their daily water needs. There are several Ayyappa temples across the Country. Only the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala forbids women in the fertile age group from visiting. Like there are some temples reserved only for women, where men are forbidden from entering. It does not require much imagination to believe that no genuinely devout Hindu woman would really wish to break a centuries old tradition and catch the next flight/ train/ bus/ taxi to Sabarimala. She would continue to pray to Ayyappa, but not wish to disturb Him at Sabarimala.
Security for ‘Hunter-walis’, an Oxymoron?
A lot of tax-payer money (Courts’ cost in all terms) has gone into something which will not really add much to social development. Instead of the Kerala government investing scarce resources for the multitudes of male pilgrims who throng the temple, they will now be forced to develop amenities including adequate security for the ‘Hunter-wali’ kind of women (refer above para) who may still be only a handful. These women surely are well within their rights to wish to go wherever their fancy takes them, but India has better things to do than sponsor Quixotic adventurism.
Advocate Naushad Ahmed Khan , the President of the Indian Young Lawyers’ Association may have just wished to do something symbolic, to get some visibility. He has (sadly) got more than he had bargained for, with death threats etc over his mobile. Some may aver that the gentleman really wanted to do something good for women-kind. We cannot be sure since there are far more issues, genuinely affecting women and their day-to-day mental and physical health than the bar on entry into one temple in Kerala. Strange that Naushad chose a minuscule non-issue.
Mammon Blinding This Manu
Speaking of the ills perpetrated against women, we have ‘legal luminaries’ like Abhishek Manu Singhvi wanting to keep women in the Dark Ages. He pleads with the Supreme Court that any family (could be his neighbour’s as well) be permitted to mutilate/ harm the genitals of a young girl in the name of religion/ tradition. How Mammon has blinded/ corrupted this Manu…..He equates the relatively painless male circumcision (with a one time discomfort) with the evil called Female Genital Mutilation. Just reading about it causes discomfort. Can Abhishek look at his neighbour’s new born girl in the eye and proudly/ honestly say what he is paid to chant in Court.
If Mr Singhvi is appearing pro bono one is far more alarmed !!
Swamiyae Sharanam Ayyappa!
The Supreme Court has already passed very welcome landmark judgements on decriminalising LGBTQ relationships and Adultery. With a landmark judgement like the Sabarimala Case, the Divine seems to have prepared us all to hear more landmark judgements favouring the vulnerable and the victimised. The valid ones, I mean.
Swamiyae Sharanam Ayyappa!