Kerala government today favoured the entry of all women in the sanctum sanctorum of historic Sabarimala temple. In a fresh affidavit, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government told the Supreme Court that the temple should be open to women of all ages.
For centuries, the entry of menstruating women aged between 10 and 50 is not allowed in the famous shrine because of the deity’s celibacy vows.
Initially, the LDF government had taken a progressive stand in 2007 by favouring women’s entry in the temple, which was over-turned by the Congress-led United Democratic Front dispensation later. Today, the State government said it has changed its position and said it will stand by the original stand undertaken in the November 2007 original affidavit favouring women’s entry into the temple.
However, the stand is opposed by the Travancore Devaswom Board that manages the temple. The board said that a document submitted in court cannot be altered at the convenience of the party in power.
Last year, there was outrage when the chief of the Devasom Board, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, said women will be allowed into the temple the day a machine is invented to detect if they are menstruating. “The day there will be a machine to detect if it’s the ‘right time’ for women to enter temples, that day they will be allowed in Sabarimala,” Mr Gopalakrishnan was reported as saying. His statement was heavily opposed and scores of women took to social media joining #happytobleed campaign.