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‘Menstruating Women Weren’t Allowed in Kitchens Too’: Kerala CM Targets BJP-RSS for Taking ‘Advantage’ of Wrong Traditions

Vijayan said that the BJP, which is protesting against the verdict now, had implemented the Bombay High Court’s 2016 verdict that allowed women entry into the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra.


Updated:October 8, 2018, 4:12 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said his government would not challenge the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter Sabarimala Temple despite mounting protests in the state.

Asserting that he was bound to implement the ruling, Vijayan blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP for trying to disturb law and order in the state by taking advantage of the situation.

Vijayan’s LDF government has been blamed by opposition parties and BJP’s ideological mentor RSS for being too hurried in implementation of the SC order and not being mindful of the sentiments of Lord Ayyappa’s devotees.

The chief minister said the interests of the believers would be protected and reiterated that the government was ready to hold discussions. The representatives of Pandalam Palace and Sabarimala temple priests had earlier refused to attend the meeting called by him to discuss the verdict.

Accusing the BJP of showing double standards, he said it was time for political parties to support progressive steps. He said that in older days, menstruating women used to be shifted away from their homes and were not allowed to enter kitchens as they were considered to be impure.

“But over the years, these things have changed. In different sections of society, there has always been revolt against such wrong traditions,” he added.

Vijayan said that today, women have made their mark in all aspects of life across world and his government’s stance on equal rights to all is very clear.

He said that the BJP, which is protesting against the verdict now, had implemented the Bombay High Court’s 2016 verdict that allowed women entry into the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra.

“The BJP government or the workers also did not show any protest in Haji Ali Dargah, where too women were allowed entry by SC. In BJP-ruled Maharashtra, their stand is women can enter in such places, but in Kerala women can't enter. This shows their double standard,” the CM added.

Protests against the Supreme Court verdict have gathered pace since last week with several demonstrations being held across cities. In many of the protest marches, women too had taken part.

On Monday, Shylaja Vijayan, president of National Ayyappa Devotees Association, said they would file a review petition as those who had approached the Supreme Court for lifting the age restriction on women were not even devotees of Lord Ayyappa.

In the petition, Vijayan states that Supreme Court verdict affects the fundamental rights of millions of devotees of Lord Ayyappa, the temple's chief deity.

"The petitioners believe that no legal luminary, not even the greatest of jurists or a judge, can be a match to the common sense and wisdom of the masses. No judicial pronouncement, even of the highest judicial tribunal in this country... can be a match for 'the voice of the people'," the petition reads.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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