A day after the Kerala government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, favouring a ban on women in Sabarimala temple, the ruling CPI (M) took a U-turn on Tuesday saying it would submit a fresh affidavit seeking entry of women of all ages.
“We want women of all ages to be allowed in Sabarimala. The government will file a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court in this regard,” party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said, adding the party stance on all temples remained the same.
However, he did not elaborate why the government changed its position.
“If there is a difficulty in allowing women of all ages, the Travancore Devaswom Board that manages the temple affairs should bring it to the notice of the court. The party is of the view that women should be allowed in all temples,” he said.
The earlier United Democratic Front (UDF) government had favoured a status quo on temple tradition and opposed entry of women in 10-50 age group. Since the temple deity is a ‘nitya brahmachari’ (eternal celibate), there is a ban on women of procreative age.
In 2007, the Left Democratic Front government submitted an affidavit in the court saying the ban on entry of women was equivalent to denying them justice. But the Congress-led UDF government did not support their demand.
The case has long been pending before the apex court. Hearing the petition on Monday, the bench headed by Justice Deepak Misra observed that the restriction on women solely on the basis of gender was discriminatory and a violation of their right.