WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Jan 05, 2018, 05.36 AM
Women will now have to provide an age proof document for visiting Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, Kerala, where the entry for women between ages 10-50 is banned.
The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the temple, passed the order during an ongoing pilgrim session following the increasing number of women devotees trying to trek to the hillock shrine defying the restrictions.
"The decision was taken in view of a number of women belonging to the banned age group trying to visit the shrine recently," TDB President A Padmakumar said.
Although, this will not be a proper verification. Only the ones suspicious will be asked to show the necessary documents - which could be any ID approved by the government.
"Carrying an authentic age proof document will help avoid unnecessary arguments between women pilgrims and the police and Devaswom officials who carry out checks," Padmakumar said.
However, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Annie Raja slammed the temple authorities, saying that the directive was a violation of the rights of women to worship.
"It is once again denying the rights of women to worship any God. Women were actually demanding entry into the Sabarimala Temple, but it is unfortunate that the temple authorities deny and are now demanding age proof," Raja said.
"God does not discriminate between man and woman but these custodians of God are denying the women their rights to worship," she added.