The Thiruvananthapuram MP said that in a democracy, one must respect religious beliefs, the Constitution, the law and so on.

Sabarimala is an issue of rituals and beliefs not of equality Shashi Tharoor
news Sabarimala Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 09:24

Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday said that the Supreme Court saw the Sabarimala issue as a problem of gender inequality and that is why the National leadership of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi welcomed the SC verdict. He made the statement while talking about the Sabarimala issue to the Malayalam media on Friday.

“However, equality is not the problem in Sabarimala. Instead, it is an issue concerning the holiness and the rituals of the temple,” said Tharoor, according to a report by Manorama Online.

“In Kanyakumari, there is a temple where men are not allowed to enter. Nobody has gone to court saying that they want to enter the temple. There are other Ayyappa temples for women, for those who want to pray to him,” said Shashi Tharoor. He went on to add that everyone should respect the speciality of Sabarimala.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said that in a democracy, one must respect religious beliefs, the Constitution, the law and so on. “Balancing all of this is what democracy is all about,” said Tharoor.

Tharoor added that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to achieve political gains through 'Hindu polarisation'. Tharoor said that this (Hindu polarisation) is a tactic that has worked for the BJP in North India. “BJP has been playing the communal card since 1986. India is not a country with just one religion,” said Tharoor.

The Congress leader said that he does not accept the BJP’s line of protest on the Sabarimala issue. “Congress does not wish to create violence and drama in a sacred place like Sabarimala,” Tharoor told the media.

Attempts to implement the SC verdict has hurt the believers but the Congress does not wish to use violence against this, said Shashi Tharoor. “Sabarimala has now become a police camp. How can anyone pray peacefully there?” asked Shashi Tharoor.

Earlier, Shashi Tharoor had come under severe criticism for an article he wrote for The Print, where he stated that the Sabarimala issue leaves “liberals like him” supposedly “torn”. The article has led to impassioned responses from all over the political spectrum, with some expressing their joy in support of his views, while others aired their abject disappointment and surprise that Tharoor, who has in the past expressed his support for women’s entry into Sabarimala, has now taken a softer approach towards those revolting against the SC verdict.

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