It was a Supreme Court order that has invited a lot of debate. Many observe that the court should not interfere in religious practices. The apex court ordered Friday that women of all ages must be allowed to worship at Sabarimala temple. It ends a ban that saw no woman or girl between 10 and 50 years on entering the shrine that draws millions of pilgrims every year. The majority four-one judgement read that restrictions can’t be treated as essential religious practice.
While liberals across the country welcomed the verdict, a majority of Hindus felt it was not right. The judgement was delivered after years of arguments and deliberations in the court. It is unfortunate that our voices were not heard by the court, says a section of people. The head priest of Sabarimala, Kandaru Rajeevaru, said, “We are disappointed but accept the Supreme Court verdict on women’s entry.” However, some members of the temple’s board, its top decision-making body, say they are exploring the filing of a possible review petition.
The Devaswom Board had even mentioned during the hearing that the ban was not anti-women and was voluntarily accepted by them. But the top court underscored that all customs or practices such as a ban on entry of women had to conform to the Constitution. They said the court should stay away from making judgements on religious sentiments.