A landmark judgment was passed by Supreme court on Friday. The Supreme Court allowed the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Chief Justice Dipak Misra said in his judgement, on behalf of himself and Justice AM Khanwilkar, that devotees of Ayyappa do not constitute a separate religious tradition. Misra said the dualistic approach against women degrades the status of women. Patriarchy of religion cannot be permitted to trump over faith, he said.
Excluding menstruating women is not an essential part of religion, the chief justice said. “The country has not accepted women as partners in seeking divinity. Subversion of women on biological factors cannot be given legitimacy. Certain dogmas have resulted in the incongruity between doctrine and practice.” The chief justice said the exclusionary practices violate the right of Hindu women to worship. Such a restriction is a clear violation of Article 25(1), that is the right to religion, he added.