New Delhi: The Kerala government informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it favours entry of women of all ages into the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala temple.
Following this, the Supreme Court posted the next hearing in the matter for February 20, 2017.
Young women are traditionally not allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple. While some say this is because they are ‘unclean’ when menstruating, others claim the ban has been imposed because Lord Ayyappa- to whom the temple is dedicated – is considered a celibate yogi.
Earlier in September, Kerala BJP general secretary K Surendran had come out in support of entry of women of all age groups into the famous Sabarimala shrine, saying Lord Ayyappa, is not a “misogynist” and menstruation cycle is a “law of the nature” and should be viewed as “sacred”.
In a Facebook post, Surendran also endorsed the suggestion of keeping the shrine open throughout the year for ‘darshan’ to reduce the heavy rush during the annual pilgrimage season (November-January).
Kerala Dewaswom Minister Kadkampally Surendran had in June said the LDF government was ready for a referendum on the entry of women into Sabarimala temple.
At a press conference, Kadkamapally said the government would initiate discussions with all stakeholders and seek their opinion on allowing entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 years into the famous hill shrine.
The LDF government had adopted the previous Chandy government’s stand justifying the restriction on the entry of women between the age of 10 and 50.
However, the next month, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan that the LDF government would file a fresh affidavit in connection with the issue in the Supreme Court where the case pertaining to entry of women in Sabarimala is pending. He said the CPM was for entry of women not only in Sabarimala but also in all temples.
Last year, there was outrage when the chief of the Sabarimala Devasom Board, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, had said women will be allowed into the temple when a machine is invented to show if they are menstruating.