(Excerpts from report in LiveLaw.in)
A lady devotee of Lord Ayyappa, who is also the mother of a 14 year old girl, has filed an application for intervention in the review petition filed by Nair Service Society(NSS) against the Sabarimala judgment on the ground that the contentions in in the review petition are defamatory to Lord Ayyappa and young girls.
The devotee’s application says: “the contention (in the review petition) that a ten year old girl’s presence will affect the celibacy of the ‘Lord Ayyappa’ is a derogatory and offensive remark not only against the ‘Lord Ayyappa’ but more so on children of such tender age”. …the so-called tradition of classifying this age group of 10 to 50 as unfit for entry to a place of celibacy is an outright indication that such children and women are only objects for sexual gratification and hence they are not ‘moral’ in a sacred space.
“The contention that the deity is a celibate because of which children as young as 10 year old cannot enter the temple is rooted on the belief that a ten year old can cause the breach of celibacy. Such an argument is outrageous and grossly misogynistic and thwarts the dignity of children and women on the very face of it. Such reckless arguments in the name of celibacy of Lord Ayyappa diminish and defame the Lord Ayyappa.
“It is further a matter of grave concern that such archaic beliefs also leave scars on the psyche of young girls. Such beliefs cause a girl child to believe that she is also an object capable enough to evoke sexual desires even in a God….
“The Review Petitioner has chosen to look away from the times we live in by continuing to live in the dark, overlooking the progress we have made, both societal as well as jurisprudential.”