Kerala MP Urges Centre To Bring In Legislation to Overcome SC's Sabarimala Verdict
"This judgment is against the customs and traditions that have been observed by the devotees for a longtime"
A Member of Parliament from Kerala, last week, urged the Central Government to bring in legislative measures to overcome the Supreme Court verdict permitting entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala shrine.
"This judgment is against the customs and traditions that have been observed by the devotees for a longtime. Even though Hon'ble Court's verdict was for espousing gender equality, overwhelming majority of the protesters against the verdict are women, the customs at Sabarimala are a matter of faith instead of a gender issue," said Anto Antony, a Congress Parliamentarian from Pathanamthitta, the constituency where the temple is situated.
He further said in Lok Sabha: "The pilgrimage season has already commenced at Sabarimala. The move to break the customs adversely affects the pilgrimage, being performed by five crores of devotees every year. Article 26 of the Constitution endorses the right of every religious denomination to manage its own affairs. Being the Parliamentarian representing Sabarimala region in this august House, I request the Government to take urgent steps on this matter."
On September 28, the apex court, by a 4:1 majority, permitted entry of women of all age groups to the Sabarimala temple, holding that 'devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination'.
Even thereafter, some devotees and political/religious groups had resisted the entry of women who tried to enter the shrine on the strength of this verdict. The state had imposed prohibitory orders in Sabarimala. Later, the Kerala High Court lifted restrictions imposed by police and declared that the place should not be used for protests. It also appointed a team of observers.
Forty-nine review petitions were filed by various individuals and organisations against the verdict. The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra on Tuesday decided to hear these review petitions in open court on January 22.