Some minor tensions have occurred near the renowned South Indian hill temple Sabarimala as some woman devotees have attempted to visit the temple empowered by the Supreme Court verdict that has removed the age limit imposed over the woman devotees by the temple with the support of the tradition followed in the temple, since time immemorial (as per those unhappy with the top court’s verdict), since the 1990s (as per those who welcome the verdict).
Traditionally, the temple does not allow women devotees under the age group ten to fifty inside the premises of the temple as it is believed that the deity worshipped in the temple is a celibate and the god does not wish the presence of women aged between ten and fifty in the temple.
Unfortunately, the top court has misinterpreted it as a gender issue and observed that the tradition exercised in the temple goes against the rights of people such as the right to equality assured by the Indian constitution and thus should be scrapped.
Accidentally, the CPM-led Kerala state government has been bestowed with the herculean task of implementing the verdict, putting it at the receiving end of the irritation of devotees channelized carefully against the government by the BJP, which is vehemently trying to find inroads to the Kerala politics, and the Congress party, which is working for a rebirth in the state.
Actually, the issue needs discussion. For devotees, it is a very emotional issue. It is better for the state to stop the issue from taking a political colour.
Most of the traditions are manmade. It changes as the society’s collective thought develops or evolves. But, no rulers should coerce their subjects to undergo the journey of change. That call for action must come from bottom, not from the top.
The best way to find a solution to any issue is discussion. Good leaders always encourage discussions. Autocrats never!!!
Vignesh. S. G
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