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Sabarimala entry ban on women mired in patriarchy: SC
Then every religion is based on male chauvinism, responds Travancore Devaswom Board.

  Ban on entry for women of a certain age at Sabarimala temple is based on the "patriarchal" belief that the dominant status of a man in society makes him capable of performing austerity while a woman, who is only a "chattel of man", is incapable of remaining pure for the 41 days of penance prior to the pilgrimage, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday.

The Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the court cannot accept a practice mired in patriarchy and chauvinism.

Travancore Devaswom Board, which objects to opening up of Sabarimala temple to women aged between 10 and 51, responded that "then every religion is based on male chauvinism".

“Prohibition is not because of male chauvinism. It is linked to the penance and character of the deity. Women accept the prohibition. It is not imposed on them,” senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, for the Board, defended the ban.

But Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said a woman's acceptance of the ban could be traced to a certain social conditioning she was made to suffer from her birth in a patriarchal society. She must have unquestioningly accepted the ban, considering that "she has always been told what to say, what to do or not do...”

Justice Rohinton Nariman said the ban seems to have emanated from the "paternalistic notion" that women cannot perform the penance of 41 days.

“How can you assume here that women cannot lead an austere life for 41 days' vratham (penance)? Women before puberty and after menopause are allowed into Sabarimala. But men, regardless of puberty or andropause, can enter... what can be more unreasonable?” Justice Chandrachud asked.



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