BENGALURU: Her claims of not just visiting Sabarimala, but also touching the idol of the presiding deity Lord Ayyappa as a 27-year-old created a nationwide furore in 2006. But 12 years since, Karnataka's Women and Child Welfare Minister Jayamala is feeling vindicated. Deeming the Supreme Court's order allowing entry of women of all ages into the temple historic, Jayamala said that judiciary has brought justice to her and all of womankind. The lone woman minister in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government expressed gratitude to the apex court for upholding equal rights for women as enshrined in the Constitution.
The 59-year-old had come in for huge criticism in 2006 with a criminal case also slapped on her for claiming that she had visited Sabarimala — the shrine where entry of menstruating women between the age of 10 and 50 was banned so far."It is a celebratory moment for me and all women. I have always maintained that there is no separate God for men and women. Our Constitution, thanks to B R Ambedkar, ensures equality for everyone and the judiciary has upheld the same," Jayamala said.
She added that the verdict had vindicated her belief in God and the judiciary.The minister was in BBMP office on Friday morning to cast her vote for the Mayoral polls when a five-judge bench of the SC delivered its judgment. The minister, who had remained mum after being in the eye of the storm over women's entry into Sabarimala, said that Friday's judgment was not about religion but about rights.
"I don't believe this is about religion. It is about a woman's right. It is a woman's right to see her God. Connection with God is a personal affair," Jayamala added. Refusing to answer directly whether she would revisit the shrine, Jayamala chose to put the onus on 'God's calling'.
"Going to a temple is about getting a calling from my God. I will go if I get the opportunity when the lord calls me," she said.Jayamala was all praise for the Supreme Court as well as Ambedkar for enshrining equal rights in the Constitution. "I was confident of this verdict. I am grateful to the judges for ensuring that women got justice today. It is a historic judgment," she said.