Critical analysis of sabarimala verdict
Author- Pallav vats, Geeta Institute of Law, Panipat.
The present article will try to find out the answer to one of the most burning questions of this time that is the verdict given by Supreme Court on the entry of women in sabarimala temple of Kerala. It may be gender inequality in view of the Supreme Court but it is also a custom for many devotees and this decision by the Supreme Court is like an attack on their belief. Keeping this sensitive issue as a shield many media houses are playing dirty TRP games, politicians are politicizing the matter, several NGOs and so-called women activists are making their own profits in the name of women rights. This third-party interference should be stopped in such sensitive issues. The Fake-feminism also hits hard to the custom of our country, in the name of feminism some anti-social elements are trying to degrade our custom and demolish it. The overdose of anything is harmful and this applies to our current position of secularism present in our nation which is an unpredictable gift by our political leaders. every rule that is imposed by supreme court on the matter of religious issue for the welfare of the society is need not that they will be acceptable by all, but if that rule is for the eradication of social evil such as Dowry, Sati then it must be welcomed but if that rule is uprooting the social balance of the custom then it must be questioned again and again. After all, India is a nation which has a perfect blending of a different culture which exists in the atmosphere of this country, this should not be disturbed at any cost.
Customs plays an important role in the civilization of human. If we say that society makes people increase their standard of living then customs also hones a person’s beliefs and values. Custom is something that many people do, and have done for a long time. Generation after generation this belief gets stronger and all of a sudden when someone tries to uproot this belief our mind can’t resist that attack on our belief and as per the consequences many things happen and this article is also one of those consequences. Sabarimala is a pilgrimage center dedicated to Hindu devotees, which is located at the Periyar tiger reserve that is in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in the Pathanamthitta District of Kerala. Sabarimala is one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world in which every year an estimated 45-50 million devotees came for visiting. Sabarimala is a temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa who was a great warrior and was the avatar of Lord Sastha. This temple is very prominent among all temples in Kerala. The belief of many people attached to this temple and it is said that people have to observe penance for 41 days before going to Sabarimala which includes simple living, holy thoughts, and absolute celibacy for at least 41 days. It is a belief that this deity is a ‘naishtika Brahmachari’(eternal celibate).
The burning question:-
But the burning question which gets highlighted after the verdict of the Supreme Court is that should women under the age 10-50 years be allowed to enter in Sabarimala. Many people try to start linking this with women rights and gender equality. Many political parties, Social activist organization like Bhumata brigade taking advantage of this to came in limelight but gender equality and women rights are not the main reason behind the ban of women because there are at least 8 temples where men are not allowed to enter such as Attukal temple located in Kerala, Chakkulathukavu Temple located in Kerala, In Brahma temple located in Pushkar, married men are prohibited to enter into the temple premises and many such examples are there to clear the biased belief that ban of women in Sabarimala is not related to gender inequality unlike other religions, every Hindu deity has a history to tell. It is said that Lord Ayyappa was a Brahmachari and was not supposed to come close to women. The celibate nature of Lord Ayyappa is said to be one of the greatest reason why women are not allowed to enter in Sabarimala. It was the choice of Ayyappa to maintain a distance from women but again question will raise that why only for a certain age limit 10-50why not for women of all ages then the answer will be that it was given in an ordinance passed by Kerala government just to prevent from getting in radar of constitutional of equality but unfortunately it was challenged on this basis only.
The history behind the mystery:-
Once Ayyappa killed a Mahishi and a beautiful lady appeared as per the curse and she wanted to marry him but due to the eternal bharamcharya he could not marry her due to his eternal brahmacharya but promised to marry her when new pilgrims stop coming to him. Hence a temple in respect of Maalikapurathamma was build next to the Sabarimala and it is also said that to show respect to the Goddess Maalikapurathamma as she is waiting to get marry with Swamy Ayyappathey voluntarily don’t enter into the temple.
Attack on the belief:-
A group of five women lawyers has challenged rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of public worship (authorization of entry) rules,1965, which authorizes restriction on women “of menstruating age” in 1991 Kerala high court banned the entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50, from entering the Sabarimala shrine and Kerala high court stated that since this ban of women entering in Sabarimala has existed since the time immemorial and ‘Tantri’ i.e head priest is the only one who was empowered to take decisions on religious matters. Later this decision was challenged by senior advocate Indira Jaising, who represented the petitioners, said the restrictions went against articles 14(equality before law), 15(prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and 17(abolition of untouchability) of the constitution. According to her this custom is discriminatory in nature and stigmatized women, and that women should be allowed to pray at the place of their choice. Now let’s discuss the historic Judgment given by Supreme Court on September 28, 2018, actually, In 2006 the case was on the table of supreme court seeking justice for women guiding through the propaganda of leftists with the help of the armor provided by the constitution of India. This case was later referred to the bench led by the former chief justice of India Deepak Mishra and comprising justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachund, and Indu Malhotra. The bench lifted the ban and by the 4:1 majority ruled that women of all age either is older than 10 years or younger than 50 years can enter the Shrine of Sabarimala without any gender discrimination.
The reality behind Gender Discrimination:-
If we talk about the rights of women in our country, I am not denying that there is no gender discrimination somehow it exists in our country but this does not certify that ban of entering in Sabarimala is a gender discrimination, not an old age custom through which sentiments of millions of people are attached as I already mentioned that there are certain temples which do not allow men to enter into the temple premises and we are not even complaining about that because it is the custom of that specified temple. In our Hindu religion women have the most respected place. For every auspicious work we used to worship Goddess Lakhmi, for knowledge we used to worship Goddess Saraswati and we worship Goddess Durga for strength. Women used to participate in these poojas very actively and even in Durga puja girls are considered as Goddess, how can anyone questions on our immemorial old age practice just for the name, fame and to take fake credibility of women rights and gender equality.
After the Verdict:-
Literally speaking Kerala paid a huge compensation for this decision, After the decision of SC over Sabarimala two women, Bindu(42), a CPI(ML) activist and Kanakadurga(44) entered the temple in the very early morning 3:45. Having faith is a different thing but revealing it publicly just to tease others devotees is a very derogatory step taken by the communist’s Kerala government. As expected this lead to violence and vandalism due to which many were injured, a total number of 1,286 cases were registered and 3,282 people were arrested in connection with the violent incidents.
Now if we talk about some specific NGOs, media houses, political parties they are acting as the vulture in this issue, especially the communist party of India (Marxist) who is the current ruling party of Kerala are brutally trying to destroy the rich culture of India by misrepresenting the common people by various means such as advertisement, propagating fake rumors about a religion, show hate towards a specific colour such as saffron. The word saffron terror was first used by Frontline magazine in 2002, many congress leaders such as P. Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh, and Shushil Kumar Shinde also defamed Hindu religion by denoting a derogatory term saffron terrorism, as saffron is considered very holy color in this religion hence it was highly condemned by many Hindu groups such as RSS, Viswa Hindu Parishad, Shivsena and others. Leftist media, Kerala’s communist government and all the vulture-like NGOs after the judgment get a license to criticize a religion which is immemorial time older than the whole communist ideology.
Why any third party?
A question still exists that should the third party who has nothing to do with the belief of Sabarimala and who is not a disciple of Lord Ayyappa has the right to questioned a tradition which has been following from a long time, indeed everyone has right only if that specific practice is harming integrity or advertising violence but in this case, it is just a matter of faith and also if we always prevail our fundamental rights then no custom will remain safe after all India is a country which is totally based on different cultures. Justice Indu Malhotra, who was the only women judge on the bench, said that the petition does not deserve to be entertained in the court. Her view on this issue was that it is not compulsory for courts to determine which religious practices are to be struck down except in the issues of social evil like ‘sati’ or we may add ‘dowry’ here. Adding that the issue of Sabarimala is critical to various religions, she said, “Issues of deep religious sentiments which are attached to the devotees shouldn’t be ordinarily be interfered by the court. The Sabarimala shrine and the deity is protected by Article 25 of the constitution of India and the religious practices cannot be tested solely on the basis of Article 14 of the Indian constitution. Further, she added that “Conception of rationality can’t be appealed in matters of religion” said justice Malhotra further added “What constitutes essential religious practice is for the religious community to decide, not for the court or any other institutions”, After all, India is a diverse country with a perfect blend of different cultures. Constitutional morality would allow all to practice their beliefs and faith. The court should not interfere on the religious matters unless if there is any aggrieved person from that section or religion or any evil practice is going on such as Triple talaq.
If we compare the Hindu religion with other religions, this always has been a soft target for every media house, many political parties, and even the Supreme Court. In Janmastami, Supreme court don’t forget to specify the height of Dahi handi but never ever dare to question to the Zulus of Moharram’s tazia, in which every many died due to certain risky stunts, Supreme court will interfere in bursting of crackers but never dare to interfere in Bakar-eid, if we celebrate crackerless Deepawali why can’t they celebrate bloodless Bakar-eid? So if Supreme Court wants to interfere it should interfere but only with good motive and equality. Why only one should contribute and sacrifice for the sake of all. The change should be equal from both sides; one should not hold the whole burden.
Feminism has taken a wrong turn in the Indian context:-
Another aspect of this issue is feminism as we all know there are three waves of feminism but a new fourth wave of feminism has started after the very famous #me_too movement and the Sabarimala issue is also attached to feminism. Many females take this issue contradictory to their self-respect due to the misrepresentative propaganda as circulated by biased media. Feminism is a shield through which everyone is attacking the rich culture of Hinduism. Even in some temples, men are not allowed worshiping, that is ritual but in the Sabarimala issue, all women activists are crying like hell. In this issue, many journalists who run this type of ill propaganda against the culture and country modified this issue from tradition to feminism. The new wave of Feminism is very dangerous and impure. It is harming our tradition on the day by day basis. Feminism in the Indian context has taken a wrong turn and no one can deny this fact. In the shield of feminism, they used to glorify themselves and pretend as there is no other person who cares about women rights and gender equality. Entering of women in any Hindu temple if there is complete ban of women in all temples would be a gender discrimination but this is the open and shut case of tradition because other temples allow them to do poojas in the temple also it is not the complete ban over the women, only a specified age groups are restricted. Pseudo-feminist vultures should immediately be stopped otherwise they will pluck out our tradition from our India. There is a difference between Feminism and Pseudo-Feminism, feminism does not mean to kiss in public to oppose moral policing of right-wing but mean to be ‘Mary Kom’ or ‘Sakshi Mallik’ who won medals for the country and make the country proud on the daughters of mother India.
Overdose of Secularism:-
Our constitution says that India is a secular country but now a day’s secular doesn’t mean that the state recognizes all religions and respect all religions, it means to sacrifice one’s rights for the minority. Secularism in today’s context means like the Ex-Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement during his post who was the one to tantalize minority in the name of secularism by saying that, Minorities must have the first claim on resources. Today if you pretend yourself as secular then you have to criticize your own beliefs, own religion, own peoples and even your own family. Today being Secular means criticize the right-wing and pro-nationalism even they can go against their own nation in the name of secularism. To satisfy these pseudo-secularism worms is a very difficult task. They act as the sleeper cells of the country, the pseudo-seculars are the cancer cells of the nation. Even the Bollywood industry propagates the idea of pseudo-secularism or its better to say them ‘sickulars’, a movie named ‘Haider’, in the shield of entertainment, secularism, and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this movie ruthlessly maligned our army and AFSPA(Armed forces special powers act), In the name of secularism everyone is polishing their market, a movie named PK, very smartly show the pseudo-secularism by showing Lord Shiva in the toilet but dare not to enter into the mosque with liquor, another movie which was in malyalam language named as ‘Sexy Durga’, which was the conspiracy to malign a Hindu Goddess, the director/producer changed the name after several protest and objections.
In the end, I will just say that every rule that is imposed by supreme court on the matter of religious issue for the welfare of the society is need not that they will be acceptable by all, but if that rule is for the eradication of social evil such as Dowry, Sati then it must be welcomed but if that rule is uprooting the social balance of your custom and the society then it must be questioned again and again. The question should be raised in a gentle manner, vandalism is not the perfect way to question executives. In India, there are several temples and every temple has a history to tell if any women who is a devotee of Lord Ayyappa then she herself will respect the tradition of that temple. Fake Feminism or Pseudo Feminism is forming its web across the country and we have to be careful from this. The overdose of anything is very harmful and this principle perfectly applies when we talk about Secularism in India, The situation is getting worse day by day, it turned into Sickularism from secularism. Bollywood movie provides a platform to promote the overdose of the secularism concept. We all should have to beware of all the vultures who are trying to attack a particular religion. After all, India is a nation which has a diverse culture and a perfect blending of different culture also exists in the atmosphere of this country, this should not be disturbed at any cost.