The Supreme Court verdict on Friday that paves the way for the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala “reaffirms women’s faith in the Constitution and judiciary”, said Karnataka’s Minister for Women and Child Development Jayamala.
The historic judgement is also a personal vindication for the actor-politician who was embroiled in a controversy in 2006 after she claimed that she had entered Sabarimala temple in 1986 as a 27-year-old and touched the feet of the idol.
Her claim sparked a furore and the Kerala police, which investigated the case, charged Ms. Jayamala with “deliberately offending religious sentiments.” The actor had claimed that she was pushed into the sanctum sanctorum by the surging crowd. The Kerala High Court eventually quashed the chargesheet against her in 2011.
Describing the Supreme Court verdict on Friday as “historic”, the Minister said, “My faith in the Constitution and the judiciary is as strong as my faith in God. They have time and again come to the safeguard of women and this is yet another important instance.”
“I firmly believe that there cannot be separate set of rules for men and women in this country. The Constitution will not allow it. Also, there cannot be separate temples of for men and women. Why should women be restricted from having darshan of God, who according to scriptures, is omnipresent and in all forms?” asked the lone woman Minister in the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government.
When asked whether she would want to visit Sabarimala following the court's verdict, she said that while her first entry into the temple was “accidental”, now she would take a call depending on how the circumstances shape up. “If he [Lord Ayyappa] so wishes, he will make sure I am there to seek his blessings,” she said.