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BJP MP Udit Raj welcomes women entering Sabarimala shrine

BJP MP Udit Raj. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

BJP MP Udit Raj welcomed the entry of women into the Sabarimala shrine on Wednesday, while his party has opposed it and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his interview on Tuesday, termed it a matter of “tradition”.

Two women, Bindu and Kanakadurga, both aged under 50 (therefore ritually not allowed), entered the Sabarimala shrine in the morning sparking protests by the BJP.

Mr. Raj, speaking to The Hindu, however made it clear that he held these views in his personal capacity rather than as a member of the BJP which is agitating against the entry of women into Sabarimala.

“I hold these views in my personal capacity and as the head of the SC/ST and women Parisangh, one of the largest such organisations in the country,” he said. “The entry of women in Sabarimala is to be welcomed, and it is the way ahead for gender equality and for equality before law for all,” he said.

He added that the common belief is that God is all pervasive. “When that is the case how can entry into places of worship be restricted?” he said.

Mr. Raj also dismissed the arguments put forward that women in the age of menarche were impure and should be barred from the temple. “Men are born from the wombs of women, so shouldn’t men too be considered impure, how can women be considered impure,” he asked.

He also said that traditions were constantly evolving and were not static. “There was a time when lower caste women in Kerala were not allowed to cover their breasts, or when child marriage was legal in the country and even Sati was legal, all these traditions were ended. So traditions evolve all the time and we must welcome the entry of women into Sabarimala,” he said.

The BJP has been protesting ever since the Supreme Court allowed the entry of women of menarche age into Sabarimala, and has termed it an assault on the specific traditions associated with the temple.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2020 10:15:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-mp-udit-raj-welcomes-women-entering-sabarimala-shrine/article25892622.ece

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