Law

Kerala Govt to SC: Attaching Impurity to Menstruation Is Abrasion to Entire Humanity

Exclusion of women due to a natural process essential to procreation is unacceptable, the government said in response to review petition on the Sabarimala judgment.

New Delhi: Attaching impurity to a woman during menstrual period is an abrasion to entire humanity, the Kerala government said in a written submission in the Supreme Court on the Sabarimala review petitions.

“Attaching impurity to a woman during menstrual period is an abrasion to entire humanity and abhorrent to civilised society as menstruation is a natural process and is essential for procreation,” the state submitted.

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, submitted on behalf of the state that “exclusion of women during menstruation period on ground of impurity is a worst kind of exclusionary practice and is an anathema to humanity itself apart from being stigmatic and oppressive”.

It also said that the protection under Article 26 of the Constitution to manage religious affairs was available only to “every religious denomination or section thereof” and not to devotees of a particular temple or deity.

The written submission prepared by Hansaria and advocate Sneha Kalita said that the top court has consistently held that a ‘religious denomination’, fulfilling the criteria of a common faith, common organisation and the designation of a distinctive name can only claim right under Article 26 of the Constitution.

However, it said, that the devotees of the Sabarimala temple do not fulfil this criteria.

The state government submitted that the restriction on entry of women was only during Mandalam, Makaeavilakku and Vishnu days and on other days, the temple was open to women worshippers of all age groups.

It said that the mere presence of a woman of a particular age group cannot be assumed to affect the celibacy of the deity and the said argument derogates the dignity of a woman and recognises even a female child of ten years as a “source of deviation” for the deity’s celibacy.

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