The case of Sabarimala case was not about equality for women, even though the self-proclaimed women activists fought to ensure that the entry will be given to women of all the ages. The constitutional bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra, in a four-one verdict, pronounced that women of all ages can henceforth enter Sabarimala temple.
Other than Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the five-judge bench had Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Indu Malhotra. And the only justice who opposed the entry of women into Sabarimala was justice Indu Malhotra.
She said “It is not for court to interfere in religious practices even if it appears discriminatory. Notions of rationality cannot be brought into matters of religion. An equality doctrine cannot override the fundamental right to worship under Article 25. Notions of rationality cannot be brought into matters of religion”.
“The issue in this case not limited to Sabarimala only. It will have far reaching implications for other places of worships. Ayyappa devotees do not form a separate denomination and held that they indeed form a separate denomination” she added.
But CJI Dipak Misra had said “The practice in the Sabarimala temple of not allowing women is discriminatory to the woman’s right to practice her religion. Women have fundamental rights to practice their religion. The rule that bans women is in clear violation of it. The practice of exclusion of the women of the age group 10-50 cannot be regarded as an essential religious practice”.
Justice Nariman said “To exclude women of the age group 10-50 from the temple is to deny dignity to women. To treat women as children of lesser god is to blink at the Constitution”.
Justice Chandrachud said “Religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also against human dignity. Prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries”.
But soon Justice Indu Malhotra was attacked by a certain lobby who tried to call her a regressive women.
Justice Indu Malhotra has been branded as a "Hindu". God forbid, if she is selected as the replacement for the outgoing Justice Dipak Misra on the three-judge Ram janamabhoomi case bench, our media would have a collective meltdown the likes of which we have never seen.
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) September 28, 2018
If you ask my personal choice as a Hindu woman, if I would be willing to go to Sabrimala I would give a clear No. The relationship between God and the Devotee is very personal. If Lord Ayappa does not want to see me why would I go? So Excuse me, Supreme Court who are you?
— Monica (@TrulyMonica) September 28, 2018
If you guys want to follow stupid court order: welcome
But who are judges to decide on Hindu Dharma, it's traditions & practices? Are they experts in Vedas? Have they learnt Agama Shastras?
Tomorrow if these judges rule that Ram Mandir can't be built are RJM will you comply?
— Dr Jagadish Hiremut (@Kaalateetham) September 28, 2018