Women Cannot Be Banned From Entering Sabarimala Temple, says SC
The #HappyToBleed campaign may have reason to rejoice with regard to the special case of the Sabarimala Temple, as the Supreme Court has reiterated that women cannot be banned from entering the Kerela temple’s premises. According to one of the temple rules introduced by the influential Travancore Devasom Board, women between the ages of 10 and 50 are debarred entry, and the controversy escalated when Prayar Gopalakrishnan, the head of the temple’s board, maintained that women would be granted access only after a special machine would be created to scan whether or not they were menstruating, depending on which they would be declared “ pure” or “impure” enough to be allowed entry to the sacred site. This illogical decision naturally elicited a furious backlash, prompting the hugely popular #HappyToBleed campaign “by women for women against menstrual taboos”.
Menstruation is of course, a biological process, a sign of a woman’s fertility without which human life would cease to exist and the perpetration of human beings as a species would falter. It is also a subject of patriarchal control to foster an inferiority complex and insecurity in women about their bodies, paradoxically in a culture that has long worshipped womankind as goddesses.
The Supreme Court’s statement runs thus “The temple cannot prohibit entry (women), except on the basis of religion. Unless you have a constitutional right, you cannot prohibit entry.” The next hearing is due on February 8th.