NEW DELHI: The Kerala Government on Friday told the Supreme Court that restriction on women entering the famous Sabrimala temple in Kerala is prevalent from time immemorial and follows the idol concept of the temple.
Filing an affidavit, Kerala government stated, “Restriction of women is an essential and integral part of the right of practice of religion of a devotee and comes under protective guarantee of the constitution under article 25 and 26, held to contain a guarantee for rituals, observances, ceremonies and models of worship which are essential part of religion.” The affidavit was filed in response to SC’s direction that questioned the age old tradition of banning entry of women of menstrual age group saying it cannot be done under the constitution. The case will come up for hearing on Monday.
“Sabrimala temple is so unique that it allows all types of devotees in its precincts irrespective of their religion. It is also unique inasmuch as it has a special shrine in its premises for a holy man from Islamic faith. It is only after paying obeisance before Vavar Swami that the devotees enter the shrine of Lord Ayyappa,” the 10-page affidavit filed by Chief Secretary of Kerala Government stated.
“Under article 25 and 26 of the constitution guarantee every person and community, the right and freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion and manage its own affairs in matters of religion,” the affidavit said. It also cited as to how Thantris believed that “Deity is in the form of a Naishik Brahmachari and young women should not offer worship in the temple so that even the slightest deviation from celibacy and austerity observed by the deity is not caused by the presence of such women.”