Chennai, Sep 28 (PTI) The DMK on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, while a Hindu outfit urged the Centre to bring a bill in Parliament to continue the practice of allowing only men into the shrine. Also Read - ‘COVID-19 Tests Must be Conducted Free of Cost in Govt, Private Labs,’ Supreme Court Tells Centre
“The Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple proves that men and women are equal; it is a historic judgement,” DMK president M K Stalin tweeted. Also Read - Two Asymptomatic People in Kerala Test COVID-19+ Despite Completing 14-day Quarantine
“This judgement is a milestone in the journey towards lofty ideals of social justice, gender equality and women emancipation,” he said. Also Read - Kerala Police Releases Drone-monitoring Montage Amid COVID-19 Lockdown, Laced With 'Tracer Bullet' Commentary | Watch Here
DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi also hailed the verdict on Twitter.
“This is a historic judgement. And specially for all those believers who think that god created human beings & created them equally. Hope the parliament and legislative assemblies also follow this path & allow women in equal numbers,” she said.
The verdict was also welcomed by the DMK’s parent organisation and rationalist outfit Dravidar Kazhagam.
Chief of Hindu Makkal Katchi Arjun Sampath dubbed the judgement as a “big shock” for all devotees of Lord Ayyappa.
He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring a bill in Parliament to ensure “status quo at the Sabarimala temple…to allow men alone in the temple”.
“After the Shah Bano case verdict by the Supreme Court, Parliament enacted the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, in deference to demands from Muslim leaders,” he said.
Referring to the dissenting verdict of Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman judge in the bench, Sampath said it is not for courts to decide whether or not a particular religious practice should be followed.
“Lord Ayyappa alone can decide such matters. If needed, his will can be ascertained by holding ‘devaprasnnam’ (a ritual conducted to seek God’s view),” he told PTI.
Hinduism allows diverse “faiths, beliefs and practices, unlike other religions, which have one God and one holy book,” he said.
While Lord Ayyappa temple disallowed women, Attukal Bhagavathy temple in Kerala did not allow men, he added.
The five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in its 4:1 verdict earlier on Friday said banning the entry of women into the Lord Ayyappa shrine is gender discrimination and the practice violates rights of Hindu women.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.