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Analytical Study Of Sabrimala And Other Similar Cases

Menstruation is the natural part of the reproductive cycle in which blood from the uterus exits through the vagina. It is a natural process that first occurs in girls usually between the age of 11 and 14 years and is one of the indicators of the onset of puberty among them. Despite being a phenomenon unique to girls, this has always been surrounded by secrecy and myths in many societies. Taboos surrounding menstruation exclude women and girls from many aspects of social and cultural life.

Some of these are helpful, but others have potentially harmful implications. India is a type of country where the literacy rate is very low as compared to other countries. According to the census of 2001, the overall literacy rate works out to be 64.8 %, the male literacy rate is 75.3% and that for females is 53.7%i and the condition is even more drastic in rural areas.

Various unknown practices are happening throughout India primarily in rural India and to talk or even discuss menstruation is considered a sin and on the other hand, we don’t feel ashamed of discussing porn, masturbation, and other things freely this shows the mentality of the people and not must focus towards education related to menstruation.

In this article, we will primarily discuss the Sabarimala temple issue which is practiced for a long time, and women were deprived of their rights we will discuss it and also look at such type of issues in other it the problem of the Sabarimala temple or it is a practice that has a broader reach?

The Sabarimala Temple Case

Sabarimala sriayappa temple is dedicated to Lord ayyappa is the most famous temple located in Kerala. there was a belief in which the Sabarimala temple restricts menstruating women (between the age of 10 and 50 years) from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala. The restrictions find their source in the legend that the temple deity, Swami Ayyappa, is a ‘NaishtikaBrahmachari’ (celibate) ii. kerala high court in 1991ordered in favor of the restriction by mentioning that the restriction was in place throughout history and not discriminatory to the constitution. In 2006, the Indian Young Lawyers Association challenged the ban in Supreme Court.

However, the Kerala government appealed to the Supreme Court that the beliefs and customs of devotees cannot be altered employing a judicial process and the priests’ opinion is final. after that, the supreme court referred this matter to a larger bench. various arguments were there in favor of women to enter the temple. the argument that menstruation would pollute the temple premises is unacceptable since there is nothing “unclean” or “impure” about a menstruating woman.

Discriminating based on the biological factor exclusive to the female gender is unconstitutional as it violates fundamental rights under Article 14 (equality), Article 15 (discrimination abolition), and Article 17 (Untouchability abolition). By analyzing all the parties the supreme court In a 4-1 majority, the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 and allowed women, irrespective of their age, to enter Sabarimala temple and worship the deity. So with that case, we conclude that how women suffer during their menstrual period what type of trauma they have to go through they cant worship the temple and the religion they want it is unconstitutional and also not favors morality and equality.

Other Cases
We have to understand that it is not the case of one particular temple, religion, or state it is widely practiced throughout the nation. As a girl, Noorjehan Niaz remembers visiting the famous Muslim shrine of Haji Ali and walking down the long causeway off the coastline in south Mumbai, pushing through the throng to the inner chamber of the mosque where the grave of the 15th-century saint lies.

Here, her parents taught her to press her head against the grave and shower rose petals on to the green silk draping it. In 2011, as an adult, she was shocked to find the entrance shut. She was allowed into the mosque’s other areas to pray but the shrine’s trustees had decided that only men were allowed inside.

The trustees said the ban was aimed at ‘protecting’ female worshippers from sexual attention because, when they bowed, the pallu [loose end] of their saris fell, exposing their chest area which aroused the men who might be looking at them, says Niaz.

As co-founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Indian Muslim Women’s Movement, BMMA), Niaz refused to accept the ban. The BMMA filed a petition in the courts demanding the ban be lifted and pointing out that even saints were born from wombs. Three years later, this bitter legal battle is reaching an end, with the Mumbai high court expected to announce a verdict on 18 January. If the judges rule that the ban must be lifted, it will set a precedent for others fighting discrimination against women in places of worship. In India, it is only in churches where men and women enjoy equal rights of worship.

Temples and mosques practice discrimination routinely. In November, a Hindu temple in Maharashtra suspended seven security guards after a female devotee stepped on a platform to worship an idol. Women are barred from the platform and temple priests performed a “purification” ceremony to rid it of the “pollution” the woman had caused.

Young women across India launched a Happy To Bleed campaign on Facebook to protest against the sexism of the temple authorities. The campaign urged women to hold placards saying “Happy to Bleed”, take a picture of themselves, and upload it to their Facebook profile.

Adita Gupta, who created a comic book and website called “Menstrupedia” to educate young women and portray menstruation positively, posted: “Mr. Prayar Gopalakrishnan and everyone who thinks women are impure during their periods, don’t forget it’s the same ‘impurity’ you survived on for nine months inside your mother’s womb”.

Government Initiatives
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has introduced a scheme for the promotion of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 years in rural areas. The scheme was initially implemented in 2011 in 107 selected districts in 17 States wherein a pack of six sanitary napkins called “Freedays” was provided to rural adolescent girls for Rs.6. From 2014 onwards, funds are now being provided to States/UTs under the National Health Mission for decentralized procurement of sanitary napkins packs for provision to rural adolescent girls at a subsidized rate of Rs 6 for a pack of 6 napkins. The ASHA will continue to be responsible for the distribution, receiving an incentive of Rs 1 per pack sold and a free pack of napkins every month for her personal use.

She will convene monthly meetings at the Aanganwadi Centres or other such platforms for adolescent girls to focus on the issue of menstrual hygiene and also serve as a platform to discuss other relevant SRH issues. A range of IEC material has been developed around MHS, using a 360-degree approach to create awareness among adolescent girls about safe & hygienic menstrual health practices which includes audio, video, and reading materials for adolescent girls and job-aids for ASHAs and other field level functionaries for communicating with adolescent girlsiv .

There is a need for more substantive laws that will highlight such taboos and need for more campaigns that help school girls and also they know their rights and actual truth regardless of religion and culture which is redundant which constitution itself not guarantee. according to me such conservative thinking of following such taboos is only because of not providing proper education which not only affects themselves but also transfers this to the younger generation. restricting women to enter a religious place also harness individual's rights to live their life with dignity. A woman menstruates for about 7 years in their whole life and to deny them the right to personal hygiene seems like a crime that goes unpunished on a daily.

  1. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, 2001
  2. kumar, Sabarimala Temple Issue – Customs Vs Constitution21, 2019
  3. Dhillon, Will India open its temples and mosques to menstruating women?, 2016
  4. National Health Mission, 2020

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