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Supreme Court On Women Entering Sabarimala: Actor Aditi Balan, Singer Chinmayi & Others Welcome Verdict

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Following the Supreme Court’s judgement on Sabarimala, allowing the entry of women of all ages to the renowned temple in Kerala, there’s been a flurry of opinions for and against the verdict. Members of the film industry have spoken their minds too.

Speaking at an awards function in Erode, actress Aditi Balan said: “I welcome the judgement by the Supreme Court that allows entry of women into the Sabarimala temple. I consider this an opportunity for women. I have visited the temple thrice during my childhood and consider this as another opportunity for me to go to the temple.”

On September 28, in a majority opinion of 4:1, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, lifted the prohibition on women from the age of menarche to menopause to enter Lord Ayyappa’s temple at Sabarimala. In a separate, but concurring opinion, Justice DY Chandrachud said that to treat women as the children of a lesser God was to blink at the Constitution. He added: “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. To exclude women of the age group 10-50 from the temple is to deny dignity to women.” He also derided the logic that the presence of women deviated men from celibacy. This was placing the burden of men’s celibacy on women, stigmatising and stereotyping women, he added.

Singer Chinmayi, in a blog post, detailed the debate around the verdict, and took down various arguments against it.  In the post titled ‘Question and Observations on Sabarimala,’ she wrote:

“‘Trekking to Sabarimala is arduous and hence they asked women to keep away’ – it is equally arduous for men. If faith can move mountains for men, won’t it do the same for women too?

As far as I am concerned, God did not create people unequally. People with power prevented the entry and participation of some segments of society to give themselves more power. That’s all I think there is.

To me, there can’t be a better example of Divine Will than of M S Subbulakshmi ma‘s voice ringing out at Tirumala at dawn or Sri K J Yesudas’s voice putting Lord Ayyappa to sleep.”

Others like actors Vijay Sethupath and Trisha too, welcomed the verdict. “All women are sacrosanct, and no one should be stopped from going to a temple,” Sethupathi said while actress Trisha, who co-stars with him in 96, added: “The Supreme Court has been giving a series of progressive judgements, and I’m very happy about this verdict too.”

Actor-director Lakshmy Ramakrishnan and actress Khushbu Sundar also commented on the verdict on their Twitter handles.

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