The Supreme Court’s Sabarimala verdict which allowed the entry of women of all ages into the Ayyappa temple has prompted a petition in the Delhi High Court which seeks an end to the discriminatory practices in other religions. Bar and Bench has reported.
The petition, filed by Sanjiv Kumar, a director with the NGO, Knewmax Benevolent Foundation, asks the court to end inequity in the treatment of women in religions like Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism etc. Following are some of the practices that the petition challenges.
- Bar on the entry of women into the Zoroastrian Fire Temple and Temple of Silence of the Parsi faith.
- Bar on the entry of women into Mosques of the Islamic faith, to pray alongside men.
- Bar on the entry of men into women-only Hindu temples such as Attukal Temple, Chakkulathukavu Temple, Santoshi Maa ‘Vrat’, Lord Brahma Temple, Bhagati Maa Temple, Mata temple and Kamrup Kamakhya Temple.
- Bar on the entry of men into women-only Hindu temples in India.
- Restrictions on women being ordained as priests in the Parsi and Christian faiths.
- Restrictions on Hindu women being ordained as Pujari / Purohit / Head of Akhara.
- Restrictions on Muslim women with respect to ordainment as Imams of mosques to lead prayers.
- Restrictions on women on activities such as movement in all rooms of the house, prayer, fasting etc. when they are menstruating.
To put forth his case, the petitioner extensively cited the “anti-discrimination rhetoric” present in the Sabarimala verdict. He also pointed out the Supreme Court’s observation wherein it said that all religious practices need to be subservient to the constitution.
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