Bengaluru: Bengaluru MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has officially joined the row against women in the reproductive age group of 15-50 not being allowed to enter Sabarimala, with the Supreme Court accepting his intervention petition on Monday.
Chandrasekhar, who spoke to Deccan Chronicle shortly after his petition was accepted, said, “The defense being made by the Kerala government and the Travancore Devaswom Board is simply atrocious. They are not voicing the beliefs of the lakhs of devotees who go to Sabarimala each year, myself included.” Gender discrimination is the crux of the current argument, which is incorrect and irrelevant, he said.
Chandrasekhar, who, by his own admission is a Sabarimala bhakt, having made the pilgrimage for the last 21 years, says, “The age-old traditions that surround the temple and its deity, Lord Ayyappa, need to be upheld. They are unique to him.”
Lord Ayyappa is believed to have been a Brahmacharya like his father, Shiva. "That's why menstruating women don't enter Sabarimala. It has nothing to do with impurity, like the Devaswom Board is currently claming," he explained. Making his point on twitter, he also said, "Mosques are places of prayer and it is a monotheistic religion that can be brought under a single umbrella - the Quran. Hindu temples, however, are not just places of prayer, but it is where different deities also reside. Each deity comes with his or her set of rules and traditions. There are temples in India that men cannot enter."
It is only natural that "women in this modern age," he said, react badly to the idea of being called impure. "Hinduism makes no such claims, however. No God views people as pure or impure. This is simply to do with the traditions linked to the deity in question."
The Supreme Court has said that intervening petitioners will be heard after hearing the Kerala government, the Temple board, and others in the matter. Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar in intervention application seeks to safeguard the rights of the devotees of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala, who have a fundamental right of practicing their religion in accordance with the beliefs, cultural traditions and rituals associated with the particular deity - the celibate Lord Ayyappa who presides over the Sabarimala Temple
His plea comes in wake of SC on previous occasion questioning whether the biological phenomenon of menstruation is the criterion to judge a woman's purity and, if so, what is the mechanism to judge the male's commitment to observing vows as part of the Sabarimala pilgrimage....