Travancore Devaswom Board President, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, has given rise to a new controversy by saying that women will be allowed to enter the famous Sabarimala Temple only when ‘the machine is invented to scan if it is the right time for women to enter the temple.’
Prayar Gopalakrishnan, who has been recently appointed as the Devaswom Board President said, “Now there are machines which can scan bodies and check for weapons. There will be a day when the machine is invented to scan if it is the right time for a woman to enter the temple. When that machine is invented, we will talk about letting women inside.”
The famous hill shrine in Kerala which sees crores of devotees from across the country in the pilgrimage season doesn’t allow the entry of women in the menstrual age group.
Sabarimala temple authorities had earlier this month said that women can be allowed in the temple once the machine that scans menstruating women ‘just like the ones that check for weapons’ is invented.
This has led to a huge outrage with one campaign by name ‘Happy To Bleed‘ being launched on Saturday asking women to “to hold placards/sanitary napkins/charts saying Happy To Bleed” and post the pictures on their profiles or the campaign page “to oppose the shame game played by patriarchal society since ages.”
Shocking & very disappointing statement by Chief of Sabrimala temple. Must change attitude towards Women. #HappyToBleed
— Supriya Sule (@supriya_sule) November 23, 2015
Following the comment, which was reported in social media, a 20-year-old woman, Nikita Anand, wrote an open letter in the website Youth Ki Awaz. What followed was a campaign and a barrage of posts on Twitter and Facebook supporting it.
Rahul Easwar, an author and the grandson of Sabrimala’s Supreme priest, defended the board chairperson saying, “One has to go by the soul of what he said and not the translation, which can lose its spirit. He only meant to uphold an age-old tradition of not allowing women between 10 and 50 years of age to enter the temple.”
— Meena Kharatmal (@meena74) November 23, 2015