Kochi, October 13: Weeks after the Supreme Court in its landmark judgment, allowed all women to enter the Sabarimala temple, Former Devaswom Board President Prayar Gopalakrishnan criticised the verdict with highly sexist comments. Gopalakrishnan sparked a controversy by saying that allowing women of all ages in the Sabarimala Ayyapan temple in Kerala is going to 'turn it into Thailand'. According to a report by the News Minute, Gopalakrishnan said women devotees cannot complain if they are harassed or abused by men during the pilgrimage.
Speaking on the Supreme Court's landmark verdict on women's entry to the temple, he said, “I won’t tell any sister to not enter Sabarimala. Whoever wants to come are welcome. But if you come you can get caught by a tiger or man". He said this while speaking at the Pathanamthitta Press Club on October 12. Will Soon Visit Sabarimala Temple: Gender Activist Trupti Desai.
Gopalakrishnan further added saying that if young women are allowed to enter Sabarimala, he will not be ready to enter 'Thailand'. He said the power of Lord Ayyappa will be diminished if women of all ages enter the sacred temple. After Sabarimala Verdict, Kerala Muslim Women’s Rights Group to Move SC Demanding Entry into Mosques.
Gopalakrishnan’s comments come days after Malayalam actor Kollam Thulasi said that women who enter Sabarimala should be ripped apart. Thulasi, a member of the BJP said this while speaking at a public rally. "Women should be ripped apart; one half should be sent to Delhi and another to the Kerala Chief Minister," Thulasi was quoted in the report. The actor further added saying that the four judges of the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court who delivered the judgment on Sabarimala are idiots.
On September 28, the Supreme Court in a landmark verdict lifted a ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The top Court held this centuries-old Hindu religious practice is illegal and unconstitutional. The Chief Justice Dipak Misra-headed Constitution bench in a 4-1 verdict held that the existing ban is gender discrimination and the practice violates rights of Hindu women.