Congress President Rahul Gandhi has changed his earlier stance on the Sabarimala issue regarding the entry of women of all ages into the temple. From coming on record earlier to state that he believed women should not be barred from entering any place, despite the Congress leaders in Kerala feeling otherwise, Gandhi while speaking at a press meet during his 2-day UAE tour said that he sees equal validity in both the women’s rights argument and the other argument about protecting traditions.
“I can see validity in the argument that tradition needs to be protected and I can see validity in the argument that women should have equal rights,” he said at the press meet.
Gandhi also confirmed that he had taken this stance after speaking to Congress leaders in Kerala who rooted for protecting the traditions of the Sabarimala temple which did now allow women of menstruating age to enter the shrine - till the September 28 Supreme Court verdict which lifted the ban on the entry of women into the temple. He also added that he will let the party’s state unit decide how to go about with their stance.
Earlier in October, the Congress president put the Kerala Congress on the defensive by stating that he supported the entry of women into the temple. However, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee had decided to rally behind the devotees who were opposed to the verdict.
“My stand is against the party’s stand. Men and women are equal. Women should be allowed to go anywhere they want,” he had then said.
It is not just Rahul Gandhi, but other leaders of the Congress too have changed their stance. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has spoken and written extensively on why he believes the fight by devotees should be respected.