The Barpeta Township of Assam is agog as the Sabarimala verdict of the constitution bench has opened the pandora’s box of the contentious issue of women entry of Barpeta Xatra.
The development has thrown in great confusion as majority of the people of Barpeta are opposed to entry of women but scratching their head how to stop the Apex Court Order and maintain the tradition.
The legal fraternity is divided. One section said that ruling is imperative on the Barpeta xatra and they must allow women to enter while the other section said that one should approach the court seeking specific direction on the Barpeta Xatra too.
Meanwhile the Barpeta Xatra management committee passed on the contentious issue to the people of Barpeta town. Meanwhile several women activists, enthused by to0days verdict, is getting ready to approach Guwahati high court for specific instruction on Barpeta.
Meanwhile the Supreme Court on Friday, in a landmark judgement, lifted the ban on the entry of women into the famous Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
It may be mentioned that the Barpeta satra cites menstruation as the reason for the ban on the entry of women into the Kirtan Ghar of the satra.
India is a place where women are worshipped as goddesses, but sadly, it is also the place where women at large become victims of witchcraft, rape and many other atrocities.
In the Sabarimala verdict, the five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra ruled, observed that Article 25, the right to practice religion, is applicable to both men and women.
Four verdicts were written, one by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar, and one each by Justices Chandrachud, Nariman and Malhotra. Justice Indu Malhotra was the lone dissenter in the verdict.
The arguments before the Constitution bench had concluded on August 1 and the bench had reserved the verdict in this case.
The court first observed, “Women are not lesser or inferior to man. Patriarchy of religion cannot be permitted to trump over faith.” It added that devotees of Lord Ayyappa don’t constitute a separate religion denomination, which was what one petitioners had argued seeking the ban. Rights under Article 25 is equally available to both women and men.