Religious bias evident in BJP’s opposition to Sabarimala verdict


To safeguard  their political interests many parties are opposing the Supreme Court verdict that allowed women in the age group of 10 to 50 (earlier prohibited for their menstruating condition) to enter the Sabarimala shrine. As per the 70 year-old tradition, these women were not allowed to enter the shrine. The majority of women in the state are siding with the old tradition and those who filed a petition in the court challenging the discrimination against women are few and far between. The political parties are always inclined to tilt their balance in support of the majority opinion. Hence there is opposition to the Supreme Court verdict. The BJP is not only opposing the verdict but it is also instigating the people to violate the verdict which is being implemented by the Left Front government of the state. Till October 28, the police arrested about 3000 agitators and registered about 500 cases. The arrested have been booked on charges of damaging government property and stopping government servants from discharging their duty. The BJP president Amit Shah while opening a party office at Kannur extended full support to the protest by Ayyappa devotees who are opposing the government which is duty bound to implement the court decision. Amit Shah said the Left party government was suppressing the agitation by force. He warned that the government would have to pay a heavy price if the suppression of devotees continued. He said the government had created an emergency like situation in Kerala. Despite Kerala government’s efforts to implement the court order, no woman in the banned group could succeed in entering the temple. The sentiments of people against the court order are so high that a religious leader Swami Sandeepananda who supported the entry of women into the shrine was attacked. Instead of advising people not to indulge in violence, the BJP leaders are playing with their sentiments.

The religious bias of the BJP is clearly evident against Muslim women. The party celebrated the court verdict against triple talaq despite the fact that majority of Muslim women was against the court verdict. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi from time to time has claimed that it was his government that brought a Bill on triple talaq. Instead of serving the cause of Muslim women, the Bill is meant simply to punish Muslim men. Supporting a handful of women close to the party, the BJP welcomed the court order and made an uncalled for and unwanted ordinance. Here it is a 70-year-old tradition in Sabarimala, while the triple talaq is linked to more than 1400 years old Shari’ah law. However the BJP has always acted against Muslims out of religious bias. Muslim religious leaders did not make it an issue because a school of thought in Muslim Shari’ah also condemned the triple talaq. On many occasions the BJP has been in the forefront to discriminate against Muslims on this or that pretext.



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