Image credit - latestlaws.com The subject of the controversy at Sabarimala is as twisted and assorted as the history of Indian culture and society itself. Ayappa the deity worshipped, the son of two other male deities, Shiva and Vishnu, as myth goes The very unlikely intercourse became possible with Lord Vishnu taking the form of a woman To add to the melange, is Lord Ayyappa's descent which also has a Muslim strain linked to it. Lord Ayyappa found a helping hand in the Muslim warrior leader Vavar in defeating an abominable enemy. A mosque dedicated to warrior Vavar stands not too far from the temple premises. Devotees are to pay a visit to the mosque before entering the Sabarimala temple Despite being a melting pot of Aryan and pre-Aryan ingredients , the Vaishnavite and Shiviate schools of worship , Hinduism and Islam , discrimination prevails at a more rudimentary level. Orthodoxy alienates menstruating women aged 10-50 , from participating in the religious activities associated with this temple . Basis of this estrangement is the long standing norm of lord Ayappa being a celibate . Devotees who are visiting him are supposed to observe vows of celibacy for a period of 40 days  Women of age group 10-50 years , going through the menstrual cycle are denied entry to the temple in order to protect lord Ayappa’s celibate identity. As pointed out by Justice Deepak Mishra in the second Ananda margi case  , it says that exclusion is an alterable part of the practice , that does not constitute to the core and the foundation on which the religion is based. India is a land of religion and religious practices of various different religions and also there is freedom to practice and profess all religions and various ideologies but some of these ideologies are rudimentary and take away the basic right of persons existing in the society. Moreover some of these practices lack any scriptural basis and “unhindered continuity . Just liker the Sabrimala temple practice discussed here, and are thereof declared not an “essential religious practice by the law . Lack of which will not effect the religion and its belief in any way possible . The major root of existence of these practices are the discriminatory minds of few individuals who have set an prejudice and are stuck in their own ancient school of thoughts . Indeed custom is an irreplaceable part of Indian tradition and but some customs has to be changed with time as we have to accept the changing times and with the changing times comes in the demand to change some customs affecting our lives at large . There are numerous precedents of change in customs for the betterment of the society . For example the “Sati pratha” and more recently the SC scraped the triple talak custom .  Today it is well accepted that women form an integral part of the society and can contribute immensely towards its development they are reaching new heights and are ready to conquer the world but it is only possible when we start giving them equal opportunities right here in their own religion and in their own country , and not discriminating them on an issue like mensturation which is a natural phenomenon and should be seen as one, and no women should be denies of any opportunity and rights because of this factor. Such restrictions is a clear violation of 25(1)  of the Indian Constitution and article 15(1)  of the constitution. Hence such segregation is a violation of both legal and moral rights of a person . We are amidst changing times constantly thriving towards a more better tomorrow and walking towards progressiveness , so it becomes our duty to widen our horizons and perspectives and try to do away with such laws and customs which are age old and accept the newness also as preached in Hindu texts of Holy Gita we have to give up on customs which have aged and now have become mere clutches in the path of success . So the debate upon modernity and perseverance of antiquity should always be concluded on the grounds of what is and will be favour in the society which we aim to build for ourselves. Footnotes
Author - Aeshna raghuwanshi , Content writer, Legal Eagle.