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The Kerala government recently submitted to the Supreme Court that it is willing to allow women to enter the temple according to the principles of equality mentioned in the Constitution.

Hindu outfits call for hartal against Kerala govts support for womens entry into Sabarimala
news Sabarimala Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 16:06

Days after the Kerala government submitted to the court that it supports the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple, Hindu outfits in Kerala have called for a state-wide hartal on July 30.

Speaking to the media, the office bearers from Ayyappa Dharma Sena, Sri Ram Sena, Hanuman Sena and Vishwakarma Sabha announced this decision at a press meet held on Wednesday.

According to reports, the Hindu outfits also threatened to stop the women devotees from proceeding past Pamba, the base camp in the Sabarimala pilgrimage, if the Supreme Court gives a favourable verdict in the case.

The Supreme Court is hearing the case against the ban on the entry of women between the ages 10 to 50 into the hill temple of Sabarimala. The case is being heard by a Constitution Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, consisting of Justices Indu Malhotra, DY Chandrachud, RF Nariman and AM Khanwilkar.

During the hearing of the case, the Kerala government had submitted to the Supreme Court that it is willing to allow women to enter the temple according to the principles of equality mentioned in the Constitution.

However, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the 800-year-old temple, is opposed to the entry of women. It has cited religious beliefs stating that they have been followed by the pilgrims over centuries.

The Kerala High Court, in 1991, had upheld the contention of the Travancore Devaswom and had banned the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50. In 2006, Indian Young Lawyers Association filed a petition citing that this ban was unconstitutional. In October 2017, the Supreme Court referred the case to the Constitution bench.

Meanwhile, groups of women devotees have resumed their campaign supporting the Travancore Devaswom’s argument justifying the ban. Titled #ReadyToWait, this campaign shows scores of women devotees expressing their willingness to wait till they turn were 55 to visit the temple.

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