The Constitution, Supreme Court Questions Sabarimala Temple Ban On Women

TOK TOPICS: Faith, Religion, Social Sciences


Case Description: After forcing the Shani Shinganapur temple in Maharashtra to revoke a centuries-old ban on women entering its inner sanctum, the Supreme Court has raised queries to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple for not allowing the entry of girls and women who are going through their menstrual cycles.


TOK LINK: The court declared that in the context of modern times, the ban on women constituted gender discrimination. The court further questioned the basis of denying entry into temples as –‘Anyone can worship God, he is omnipresent’. However, the temple caretakers and devotees maintain that the temple’s main deity Lord Ayyappan is revered as a celibate and considering that, the menstruating women are regarded as unclean. The devotees believe strongly that centuries-old traditions should be respected.


Sample KQs:

How do we ascertain relevance of historical traditions in context of modern beliefs?

How far can Reason influence Faith ? Do we require new laws to supercede old-unjust practices?