Reversing the stand taken by the earlier Congress-led UDF government, the ruling Left Democratic Front government in Kerala has told the Supreme Court that women of all ages should be allowed into the famous Sabarimala shrine of Lord Ayyappa.
For centuries, women between 10 and 50 years have not been allowed in Sabarimala, for the simple that Lord Ayyappa is celibate.
The Left-led LDF government had in 2007 said that women should not be stopped from entering the shrine but that stand changed when the Congress-led UDF was in charge. In 2014, the UDF government said there was a “mistake” in the earlier government affidavit and said women cannot be permitted in the temple because of the deity’s celibacy vows.
The LDF, which returned to power earlier this year, said today that its 2007 view stands.
The court, however, has to consider the argument of the temple’s decision-making Devaswom Board, which says a document submitted in court cannot be altered at the convenience of the party in power.
The Supreme Court had said before that refusing entry to women to a public religious place is a violation of rights. It will take up the case again in February.