In a 4:1 verdict, the Supreme Court granted women of all age groups entry into Kerala's Sabarimala temple, breaking the temple's age-old tradition of restricting menstruating women from entering its premises.
The five-judge bench, headed by CJI Dipak Misra with Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, pronounced the verdict, with Malhotra dissenting.
While pronouncing the judgment, CJI Misra said a woman is not inferior to a man and patriarchy cannot be permitted to win over faith, while Justice Chandrachud said to treat women as children of a lesser god is to blink at the Constitution itself.
Justice Indu Malhotra, on the other hand, being the only woman and the dissenting judge in the 4:1 verdict, said issues of deep religious sentiments should not see the court’s interference.
Politicians across the spectrum have welcomed the verdict.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, while talking to ANI, said the judgment opens up and brings the way forward for Hinduism.
It is a wonderful decision. It opens up and brings the way forward for Hinduism to become even more inclusive and not a property of one caste or one sex.Maneka Gandhi, Union Women and Child Development Minister, to ANI
Mariam Dhawale, General Secretary of All India Democratic Women's Association, called the verdict another step towards equality.
We welcome the judgment. Women have a constitutional right to be able to visit the temple and whoever wishes must be allowed to visit it.Mariam Dhawale, General Secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association
Congress leaders also supported the Supreme Court’s stand, saying this is a progressive move towards gender equality.
By allowing the entry of women into Sabarimala temple, the SC has given a historic verdict. Their verdict is an example of women empowerment and equality. The DMK welcomes the verdict.MK Stalin, DMK Leader