Reacting to Supreme Court’s recent verdict allowing women’s entry inside the Sabarimala Temple, Rashtriya Sawayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) on Wednesday urged stakeholders to explore the judicial options to worship “in a manner which best suits their faith and devotion.” A statement issued by the RSS said that while it respects varied temple traditions followed by devotees in the country, it also has to honour the ‘Honourable Supreme Court’.
“It is an issue of a local temple tradition and faith to which sentiments of millions of devotees, including women, are attached… these sentiments of the devotees cannot be ignored while considering the judgement,” the statement signed by senior RSS leader Bhayya ji Joshi read.
The RSS also expressed displeasure over the manner Kerala government implemented the order. “Unfortunately, the Kerala Government has taken steps to implement the judgement with immediate effect without taking the sentiments of the devotees into consideration,” RSS said.
“There is an obvious reaction to the same by the devotees, especially women, who are protesting against the forceful breaking of the tradition,” it added.
In a landmark decision last Friday, the Supreme Court held that “devotees of Lord Ayyappa are just Hindus and do not constitute a separate religious denomination.” Delivering a 4-1 verdict, former Chief Justice Dipak Misra led five-judge bench held that the stipulating exclusion of entry of women of the age group of 10 to 50 years, is a clear violation of the right of such women to practise their religious belief. The verdict was last for Chief Justice Dipak Misra before demitting his office as the top jurist of the country.
The entry of women in the temple has remained a sensitive issue in the state. A number of people, including devotees, had expressed their reservation on women ageing 10-50 years entering the temple.