Sabarimala temple row: Travancore Devaswom board chief says Christian women don’t visit Church during periods

Prayar Gopalakrishnan had earlier said women will be allowed into the temple when a machine is invented to show if they are menstruating

Sabarimala temple row: Travancore Devaswom board chief says Christian women don’t visit Church during periods

strip

Sheeja Anil

The President of Kerala’s Travancore Devaswom Board, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, on Saturday opposed the entry of all women into the Sabarimala temple, calling it is unconstitutional to force people to compromise on religious freedom.

Claiming women devotees won’t enter into the temple even if the court permits, Gopalakrishnan said Christian women are ceremonially unclean when they bleed and won’t usually visit Church during periods.


“Trupti Desai claims she wants to enter the temple as a believer, not as a feminist. But devotes won’t enter into the temple even if there  a law that allowing them to do it” he said.

“Women devotees still won’t cook food at home when they menstruate, and stay in a room outside the house,” he added.

He said the devaswom Board will be responsible to let all women enter into the temple if there is law allowing it, but the ongoing controversy over Sabarimala is targeting religious freedom.

“The board is not against customs and rules, but it is accountable to protect the devotees,” he said.

Gender equality activist and founder of the Bhumata Brigade, Trupti Desai, earlier announced that she will enter the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala this January.

“I am coming to Kerala on 24 December and will hold meetings with like-minded women and will finalise the date,” Trupti said last month.

According to the rules of Sabarimala temple, only girls below the age of 10 and ladies above the age of 50 are permitted to climb up the hills to Sabarimala.

The Government of Kerala earlier told the Supreme Court that it favours entry of women of all ages into the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala temple. As a pursuit of this statement, the Supreme Court posted the next hearing in the matter for February 20, 2017.

Prayar Gopalakrishnan had earlier said women will be allowed into the temple when a machine is invented to show if they are menstruating. Triggering a controversy, the stamen made many women join in #happytobleed campaign on social media.