Sabarimala temple case: How is women’s entry to temple related to menstruation?

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A PIL was filed by Indian Young Lawyers Association demanding entry of women into the Sabarimala temple, located on a hilltop in the Western Ghats of Kerala’s Pathanamthitta District.

SC bench hearing the Sabrimala case threw a no. of questions to the temple management committee i.e the Devaswom board asking for reasonable justifications on their ban on the entry of women between the age group of 10 to 50 years in the temple on mere basis that they cannot maintain purity for the period of 41 days on account of menstruation.

The bench headed by Dipak Mishra questioned senior advocate KK Venugopal representing the Devaswom board as how can periods be related to purity. Venugopal said both women and men are allowed entry into the temple and hence, there is no case of gender discrimination, as is assumed by SC and females of a particular age group are not allowed due to the centuries-old custom. There are many temples to which women are allowed inside, he said, adding that the Sabarimala temple is different. Women are not allowed to climb eighteen sacred steps on the hill unless they maintain 41 days of purity, although they are allowed inside in Sabarimala, he said. The arguments shall remain continued and would resume on May 2.

By – Dhriti Sharma

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