The Congress on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict lifting a ban on the entry of women in Kerala's Sabarimala temple, calling it a progressive and far-reaching decision towards gender equality that gave a fresh expression to women's rights.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the court had made it clear that there could be no discrimination in matters of faith on the basis of gender or otherwise.
"We wholeheartedly welcome this progressive and far-reaching decision in case of entry into Sabarimala temple. Supreme Court decision has given a fresh expression to the rights of women and how they cannot be subjugated to any religious practice, no matter how sacred," he said on Twitter.
The Congress leader also said, "There can be no discrimination to worship on the basis of gender or otherwise. A welcome and progressive move towards gender equality by Supreme Court in Sabarimala."
"As society evolves, so should our religious beliefs and laws," he tweeted.
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court Friday lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Sabarimala temple in Kerala, holding this centuries-old Hindu religious practice is illegal and unconstitutional.
Women activists hailed the judgement that paved the way for entry of female devotees of all ages as a victory for gender equality while Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said it would make Hinduism even more inclusive. The temple barred women of a "menstruating age"-- defined as between the ages of 10 and 50 -- from entering.
The Chief Justice Dipak Misra-headed Constitution bench in a 4-1 verdict held that the existing ban is "gender discrimination" and the practice violates the rights of Hindu women.
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