Sabarimala
“But do majority of men who visit the temple observe 41 days of vritam?” he asked.
K Surendran/Facebook

Kerala BJP leader and state secretary of the party, K Surendran has said that women of menstruating age must be allowed entry into Sabarimala. In a Facebook post on Friday, Surendran said that menstruation must be considered sacred, for that is the reason for the existence of mankind.

"Isn’t menstruation a biological process from which the mankind is born? I feel we should consider it as sacred," he wrote.

“Most menstruating women in our state do not anyway go to temple. What is important is being pure mentally and physically during the time of darshan. A lot of people ask how women can do the 41 day fast as their menstruation cycle will break the fast. Do a large majority of men who go Sabarimala actually observe 41-day fast? Lord Ayyappa is a celibate, but that does not mean he is against women. Malikapurathamma (a woman deity and Ayyappa’s friend) is places in the adjacent hill. Isn’t menstruation nature’s law? Hinduism has always evolved with time. The Hindu community has always accepted logical arguments. It has never shown the rigidity that semitic religions do. I think the Hindu leadership should acknowledge all these sentiments and welcome these changes. But the campaign by certain feminists at the behest of their political masters is suspicious," he wrote. 

Stating that the government, Devaswom board or political parties do not have the authority to decide the day-to-day functioning of Sabarimala, he emphasized that everybody is entitled to their opinions.

“The restriction is only for women between the age of 10 and 50. Statements by many has sparked up a public discussion on the entry of women to the shrine. But I believe that discussion should not be considered as problematic,” he wrote.

Surendran said that the reason cited for preventing them entry to Sabarimala is that women cannot observe 41 days of vritam, as their menstrual cycle does not let them do so.

“But do majority of men who visit the temple observe 41 days of vritam?” he asked.

He also supported a suggestion that Chief Minsiter Pinarayi Vijayan had raised in a review meeting a few weeks ago, that the temple should be opened on all days throughout the year.

Read: The battle over Ayyappa: A timeline of the tiff between Kerala govt and Sabarimala admins

“Devotees are granted access to the temple for first five days of every month (Malayalam calender). How does it make a difference whether it is 5 days of 30? If opening the temple on all days during the peak season will reduce the rush, why can’t that suggestion be considered?” he asked.

Surendran pointed out that doing so will reduce the risk of untoward incidents that happen due to crowding.

He said that the devotees are exploited, the heavy rush being taken as an advantage. The BJP leader said that Lord Ayyappa is a bachelor and not a women hater. 

Also read: Women devotees counter campaign for entry to Sabarimala, say ReadyToWait

Why haven’t women in Kerala stepped up to lead Sabarimala movement? Activists speak out

Wait if you're ready to but allow others to enter Sabarimala: a Kerala woman writes