INDIAN YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCIATION VS. STATE OF KERELA THE SABARIMALA JUDGEMENT: CASE ANALYSIS
“Hindu deities have both physical/temporal and philosophical form. The same deity is capable of having different physical and spiritual forms or manifestations. Worship of each of these forms is unique, and not all forms are worshiped by all persons.” This statement was made by justice Indu Malhotra, which very well sets a point of view when one is going through matters concerning both freedom of religion and discrimination of the basis of sex or other criteria for worship. Such a case which gained a lot of national attention was the Indian lawyers association vs sate of Kerela, a case which dealt with the discrimination to women for worshiping in the Sabrimala temple, the analysis which helps you understand the cause of the dispute and will also analysis the judgment made by the apex court in the case with finally drawing out a conclusion for the same.
History of the temple and beliefs :
To start the analysis we should first get familiar with the history and location of the Sabrimala temple. The Sabrimala temple is located in the Sabrimala village of the state of Kerela, which is one of the most popular shrines of Kerela, Sabrimala shrine is worshiped for Lord Ayyappa, the temple falls on the eastern region of the state of Kerela bordered by the state of Tamil Nadu, it is located on top of the hill pampi and it is the last location to which one can come via a transport after which one has to take a 5km walk to reach the temple. Lord Ayyappa is considered to be a combined form of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, the two basic form of Hinduism the shivism and the Vaishnavism, the temple is devoted to Lord Ayyappa and the temple got the name Sabrimala from the devotee Shabari who did devotion and meditation with great concentration with the sole intention of meeting lord Rama, it is believed and that lord parshuram placed a deity on the base of the shabri hills and this fact is even proved to be true as it is stated in the Ramayana. Now the main issues stated in the case of indian young lawyers association vs state of Kerela in which the court found Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Rules, 1965 was discrimination against women, as the temple had a custom of prohibiting the women of age group 10 - 50 years from entering the temple , there were mainly 2 reasons and mentioned in the court as well which were , the women are considered to be impure in the span of their periods and secondly lord ayyappa is believed to be in his young age and is not to be distracted , from the history of the temple lord ayyappa took occurrence to destroy a female demon which could only be destroyed by a child of Shiva and Vishnu and hence when lord ayyappa destroys the demon there emerges a beautiful lady who was once cursed to live like a demon and when she got killed by lord ayyappa her curse was removed and hence she asked to the lord to marry her but to this lord replied that he is on a mission and he has to get back to Sabrimala and listen to the problems of his devotees and would only marry her when the devotees would stop coming and that means the day when the devotees of lord are free of any problem that day the lord would marry her , as a result of which the lady is worshiped in the neighbouring temple malika purathamma , this is the only possible answer for the question of banning women from the age group of 10-50 years from entering the temple.
Judgment and analysis :
In the judgment delivered by Justice Chandrachud and bench ruled out the rule 3(B) of Kerela Hindu places of public worship rules 1965 is discriminating article 21 and even article 14 of the Indian Constitution and lifted the restriction against women of the same age group soon after the judgment a judicial review petition was filed which is still sub judice and has made it again a topic of discussion, that should customs like these should be interfered by the court because if this was the case then ram janmbhoomi case can also be brought to debate as it was a landmark judgment solely based on the belief associated to that piece of land and so was in this case, the basic point is that what can one get by breaking through this custom ? is it not to be viewed with equal importance that religious beliefs are exclusive and hence courts should refrain from interfering in matters like such, as the Sabrimala judgment led to series of violence and disturbed public order cases. It still leaves a question on the judgment until the judgment on the review petition is out and hence this topic is indeed going to take some time as well as some more controversies before its over, but people are having both views and hence this leads us to a never-ending debate but as the law only stays with facts and evidence, the rule of the temple was discriminative and hence quashed, in a land where we worship women as god how can we discriminate them based on a biological event.