Honorable Supreme Court of India, on 28 September 2018, overturned the restriction of entry of women ages 10-50 to the temple, calling it discriminatory and amounting to the untouchability.
Supreme Court held that “Women are not lesser or inferior to men. Patriarchy of religion cannot be permitted to trump over faith” and also observed that exclusion of menstruating women is a violation of Article 17.
But as per those who do not agree with Supreme Court’s order said the Sabarimala ban is not just because of misogyny but the celibate nature of deity.
I will not go into the constitutional provisions or religious arguments. My support for the restriction is purely based on logic. Before I make my arguments, I wish to clarify that, I am not a religious person. I do not believe in God or any superior power controlling human beings. For me, all the decision we made are originated within us.
According to me, religion and rationality can not go together. Rationality is based on logic, facts, but the religion is based on superstitions, faith, and beliefs. Sometimes, both intersect, but claiming particular religion as completely rational is illogical because there are always certain aspects in all religion which can not be explained by logical reasoning.
Now let us come to Sabarimala. There can be two possibilities. First, you are a believer. You believe in Lord Ayappa and all the stories/beliefs attached to him. You believe him to be eternal celibate. In that case, if you are a woman, you would not like to visit the temple, as religion is all about following the beliefs and rituals attached to it. Second, you are not a believer. You don’t believe in Lord Ayappa. You don’t believe in mythology, stories, and rituals attached to him. In that case, you do not need to visit the temple.
Even if you are visiting (for some random reason other than your religiosity), you have to follow all the rituals, rules and regulations ascribed the temple, or you would end up hurting religious beliefs of others which are protected under Article 25. For example, I do not believe in God. But when I visit the temple (if my parents ask me to or during festivals), I do observe all the rules as one devotee should observe.
That is why I opposed Sabarimala Verdict. It is irrational. Women who just want to enter the temple for the sake of women empowerment should focus their struggle on other fundamental issues. There are issues of women’s security, education, health, political participation, etc. Women organizations should really focus on the empowerment of women in a real sense rather than doing stupid protest to enter a temple, whose beliefs are not accepted by them.