Congress lawmakers have spoken in favor of the Sabarimals’s ban on women entering the temple on the basis of tradition and culture. The temple claims that women between the ages of 10 and 50 cannot enter the temple which is dedicated to Lord Ayyapa. This practice stems from the stigma towards menstruating women and reinforces prejudice and shame towards a normal and necessary bodily function.
While his party supports the temple’s right to the ban, Mr. Tahroor told NDTV:
My party has taken a stand that the Sabarimala tradition should be followed. But, I am personally against it – because I believe customs and traditions evolve.
The court was also opposed to the ban, asking the temple:
“Why can you not let a woman enter? On what basis are you prohibiting women’s entry… What is your logic? Women may or may not want to go…but that is her personal choice.” (Justice Dipak Misra)
Both these stances succinctly describe why the ban needs to be lifted. It is an outdated practice that has no room in a modern society that is working towards eliminating patriarchy. The temple’s argument in support of tradition would allow many practices that modern society has rejected such as Sati and dowry, and thus should hold no ground in the debate over the ban.