Women rights activist Trupti Desai today welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to refer review petitions to a larger bench against its last year's verdict to end the ban on women between 10 and 50 entering Kerala's Sabarimala Temple. "I welcome the decision given by the court today. I feel that the festival is just around the corner so the judicature must have felt that any new decision may instigate violence. But I also believe the court must make the decision in the matter at the earliest so that the women can offer prayers at the shrine during the festive season," Ms Desai was quoted as saying by news agency ANI after Supreme Court ruling on Sabarimala case.
Ms Desai had made an unsuccessful attempt to enter the temple in November last year, weeks after the Supreme Court lifted the ban that stopped women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Ayyappa shrine in Kerala.
"What I understand is that till the court order comes, entry is open for women and no one should protest against it. People who say that there is no discrimination at all are wrong, because women of specific ages are not allowed there. I am going to offer prayers on November 16," the Pune activist was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi today said the question of whether women of all ages should be allowed into Sabarimala is part of a larger debate that includes issues like allowing Muslim and Parsi women to enter religious practice and female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
More than 60 petitions were filed after the Supreme Court verdict in September last year and sparked violent protests in Kerala. The petitions argued that the Sabarimala deity is a "Brahmachari" (celibate) and "centuries-old beliefs" should not be disturbed by the entry of menstruating women devotees.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI)