Do you think that god can have discrimination between his own creatures- males and females? Practically, the answer does not seem dubious. But the customary morality does not permit entry of women in the Sabarimala Temple, Kerala. Amidst the huge dilemma, Supreme Court has recently given its verdict on the Sabarimala Case.
Historically, there had been no ban on the entry of women between 10-50 years of age before 1991. After some religious chaos, Kerala High Court upheld the decision of not permitting the entry of women in 1991. The reason being that it impures their Lord Ayyappa. The situation was prevailing similarly till now. Now the modern notion of gender equality once again awoke the Supreme Court. The court gave its judgment uplifting the ban on entry of women.
Socially, the verdict is in favour of revitalizing the Indian society which is trapped, so much, in vicious circle of superstitions and vague customs. It is one of the laudable steps for the reforms of the society.
On the other hand, it may also be targeting the fundamental right of citizens enshrined in Article 25-28 of the Constitution. It may become arduous to accept for the people of that particular religion. It may also seem unnecessary interference to the people of other religions also.
Politically, the decision seems to strengthen the foundation of democracy by providing equal opportunity to men and women everywhere. It has also made easy for Kerala government to tackle a debacle related to this matter.
At the same time, Supreme court’s verdict can be used as a tool by the opposition parties to foment the public. They may blame the present govt for their meddling in judiciary.
Globally, the judgment has made a good reputation of Indian judiciary. It symbolizes rapid progress of the Indian society. It may also be a motivation and inspiration for the socially downtrodden countries.
Legally, it is the humongous responsibility of judiciary to, slowly and gradually, alter the mindsets of people. It is one the most effective and efficient machinery which can get the society out of trap of customs and superstitions. The legal provisions can aid in moulding the mentality of human beings.
In the contemporary world, it is a satiable step taken by the Supreme Court to promote the present notion of gender equality. The judiciary lies with an enormous responsibility of burgeoning women empowerment also.
On the other hand, it may augment a burden on legal machinery by filing incessant petitions regarding intervention in the religious affairs. It may seem threat to an illiterate society about age old customs of their religion.
Basically, no god fosters to create distinction among the genders of human beings. The on going practice in the temple is just a consequence of meagre human civilization at that time. Even Guru Nanak Dev Ji said, “So Kyo Manda Akhiya, Jit Jamhe Rajan”
Economically, the verdict has a very positive impact. With the augmentation of pilgrims, there will be more generation of funds for the trust and charity. It may enhance money circulation which adds to the economy. Ultimately, it may help a temple organization and a state.
Henceforth, there are many pros of the decision. It is likely to change an old mindset and mentality. It may enlighten the people about vague customs. It can not be said as a threat to secularism because the constitution meddles in religion only when it is linking to the contemporary notion like gender equality. It is pertinent to note that the healthy mentality of people is the major reason of development and progress of foreign nations. Customary morality never paves the way to modern life.
Every coin is two sided. There are some cons of the verdict also. It may create a feeling of insecurity among devotees of the religion. It may also seem unnecessary meddling in the religious affairs. It is debatable why Supreme Court Judge Indu Malhotra gave a dissenting judgment. It might be knotty to understand for a common man about its importance. Besides Sabarimala Temple, devotees of other temples of Kerala are also expressing their ire against the verdict on a large scale. Currently, there is a lot of chaos going on in Kerala.
Women, being a disadvantaged section of the society, have gained dignity and influence by the verdict. It may be tough to accept the decision for traditional women. But the modern women can be able adjust easily as modern thinking is more based on reason and thought.
To conclude, change is the law of nature. A tremendous change is necessary for altering the morality of people. Change in itself is a kind of revolution. History stands witness that every revolution demands some time. It is a huge forward leap by the Supreme Court for the prosperity of nation and society. Mentality of the citizens should be molded in such a way so that they can readily accept the notions of progress and development. It is evident from last 2000 years that the customary morality cannot be a guide to a modern life.
- Paarinder Singh