Sabarimala Shrine Opens Amid Violence; Kerala CM Says Rituals Must Change With Time
Today, Sabarimala temple opened for the first time after the Supreme Court’s historical verdict to allow women of all ages inside its premises. Amidst violent protest and attacks on women who tried to enter the temple, the gate was opened today evening at 5 PM.
Protest against SC verdict
Soon after the court’s verdict, almost all the leading parties except the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) came against the verdict. Few even declared they shall attempt to stop women’s entry into the temple. However, yesterday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cleared his government stand on the verdict stating that “certain rituals and traditions need to change with time and some are meant to be broken.”
According to India Today, on Tuesday, Vijayan slammed the opposition parties who have been protesting against the Supreme Courts’ verdict. While speaking at a mass gathering organised by his party LDF in Putharikandam Maithanam, Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayan said, his party has always fought for the women’s rights.
He said all women have the right to worship in a temple and so does the women in Kerala. He added that his government is committed to implement the court’s verdict and his government is proceeding in the same direction as the court’s order. “The government does not want a confrontation with believers. We are taking a stand where everyone’s beliefs can coexist,” he said.
He said that in 1991 the Court gave an order to prohibit women of age 10-50 years old to enter the temple. After 27 years the court removed the ban.
Many women over the years have filed petitions and have fought for their fundamental rights. While talking about how LDF time and again has stood for the Sabarimala issue he said, in 2007, when LDF was in power, it had submitted an affidavit to the SC, demanding that women should be allowed inside the temple. However, In 2011-16, when the UDF was in power nothing was done regarding the affidavit.
In 2016, when LDF again came to power, the party expressed the desire to demand equality and freedom. The party also voiced their support for the petitioners from the Indian Young Lawyers Association.
“Over the course of the case, the government also decided to consult with religious scholars from the Devaswom Board, priests from Sabarimala and the Pandalam king in an attempt to address the matter in its religious form. All this while, UDF remained against the entry of women into the temple,” he added.
Some rules are meant to be broken
Citing other barbaric practices like Sati, Child marriage that was abolished over the time. The CM said that much like the judicial reform related to Sati, child marriage and women’s right to property, this verdict by the court is also to safeguard human rights. The CM added that the temple’s stand to prohibit women from entering the temple is against the basic principles of the Constitution.
“Rituals and traditions should change with time. In the past, you could only enter the temple after having a bath in the pond. That is not the case now. Earlier, women did not have any right to inherit property. But is that the case now?” he asked.