Congress leader MM Hassan, who took over as interim president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said menstruation was impure and women should not enter places of worship during that time.(ANI Twitter)
Congress leader MM Hassan, who took over as interim president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said menstruation was impure and women should not enter places of worship during that time.(ANI Twitter)

Menstruation impure, women must not enter places of worship: Cong leader

Succumbing to pressure from former chief minister Oommen Chandy, the Congress high command decided to give temporary charge of the KPCC president to Chandy’s nominee Hassan.
By HT Correspondent | Agencies, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON MAR 28, 2017 08:54 PM IST

In a shocking remark, Congress leader MM Hassan, who took over as interim president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said menstruation was impure and women should not enter places of worship during that time. He later sought to clarify that it was not his personal opinion and he had only stated the prevailing social situation in the society.

“Menstruation is impure and during this period women should not enter temples. There is a scientific reason behind the instruction that women should enter during this period,” he said at a public function after he took over as KPCC’s interim president.

“It should not be given other interpretations. During this period, Muslim women do not observe fast. My opinion is that women should not go to temple, mosque or church when their body is impure,” he said.

Succumbing to pressure from former chief minister Oommen Chandy, the Congress high command decided to give temporary charge of the KPCC president to Chandy’s nominee Hassan. The president’s post has been lying vacant ever since VM Sudheeran decided to resign on health grounds.

Drawing flak for his comments, Hassan on Tuesday sought to clarify that it was not his personal opinion and he had only stated the prevailing social situation in the society.

“My remark about impurity is not my opinion… I only said (about) the social condition prevailing in the society”, he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

“Muslim and Hindu women during their menstruation period, on their own, used to keep away from places of worship. This is the social situation that exists in the society. I only explained this when a participant asked a question in this regard at the seminar,” he added.

Hassan also claimed that his statement was distorted by a section of the media.

“Whether I am supporting it or not is not the point. It is the social situation,” Hassan said, adding “political parties cannot change the customs and traditions of religions”.

On his opinion about the ban on entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 at the famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, he said political parties were not religious reformers.

“We (political parties) respect the customs and traditions of religions,” he said.

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