Now, #ReadyToWait campaign backs ban on entry of menstruating women in Kerala's Sabarimala Temple
A group has started a Facebook campaign called #ReadyToWait, which backs the ban on women of reproductive age from entering the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.
Thiruvananthapuram: While several leading women's outfits have called for ending discrimination against women at religious places, another group has opposed the entry of menstruating women in the famous Sabarimala Temple, saying it is against the age-old traditions in Kerala.
According to a report in NDTV, the group has started a Facebook campaign called #ReadyToWait, which backs the ban on women of reproductive age from entering the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple - one of the most revered sites of worship among Hindus.
The development comes at a time when the apex court is in the process of deciding whether the decades-old tradition at the hilltop temple should be annuled.
During hearings, judges have repeatedly asked the government and the temple's board of trustees to explain how the ban does not breach the Constitution and the Right to Equality.
Interestingly, the Left leaning government, which came to power after the recent assembly polls in Kerala, has suggested that they will not take the previous government's stand of supporting the ban.
However, the announcement has not gone down well and a section of Kerala women have expressed their displeasure, saying that the new disposition is unnecessarily interfering with the old customs and beliefs of people.
"If it was man-made and wrong, I will fight against the tradition. But if it's in the shastras, it's my right to fight to obey. Women can worship Ayyappa anywhere else where they are allowed," Padma Pillai, who is in her 40s and heads an IT firm, was quoted as saying.
Dedicated to Lord Ayappa, worshipped as a son of Lord Vishnu, the temple allows entry only to girls younger than 10 or women over 55. Priests and trustees have said that the deity is a bachelor and that menstruating women defile the premises.
Interestingly, a group of women had last year launched an aggressive campaign #HappyToBleed after the head of the temple said that he would consider allowing women to enter if there was a machine to check if they were menstruating.
The ongoing campaign aimed at ending discrimination against women at religious places has met with much success, with several popular temples reversing the ban and allowing women to enter the inner sanctum.
Last week, the Haji Ali shrine of a Sufi saint in Mumbai was given similar orders, though its trustees maintained that they will appeal in the Supreme Court to maintain restrictions on women visitors.
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