Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Is the Kerala temple battle about gender, law or religion?
Kerala is a state on the southwestern, Malabar Coast of India. The population is just over 30 million and Malayalam is the most widely spoken language and also the official language of the state. The literacy rate of the state exceeds 93% and the life expectancy is 77 years old, both are the highest in the country. The most popular religion is Hinduism, practiced by over half of the residents followed by Islam and Christianity. Sounds like a relatively decent place, doesn’t it?
However, as many as five million women formed a 600-kilometer human chain on New Year’s Day to demand entry to the Sabarimala temple, a major Hindu temple that restricts the entry of women between ages of 10 and 50, or child-bearing age. Though the Supreme Court of India ruled that the gender restriction is unconstitutional last year, many men in India have been resisting the ruling, pressing the authorities and shrines not to change the traditions.
Is such a strong resistance caused by just sexual discrimination, tradition or religion, or a combination of all?
Enjoy reading and learn what gender barrier is like in Southern India.