The Supreme Court's order to allow menstruating women between 10 to 50 years of age to enter the Sabarimala Temple is leading to unrest and tensions in the state of Kerala. While there have been multiple voices on both sides of the spectrum, actor-turned-politician superstar Rajinikanth has issued a statement on the same saying that he welcomes the decision, but adds that beliefs are crucial too.
"There is no contradictory opinion on women having equal rights. But when it comes to temple, each will have its own set of beliefs and traditions that have been followed over the years. It is my humble opinion that nobody should interfere in those," he said.
To counter his response to the turbulence the Apex Court verdict has brought to the state, the star was asked whether the judgment should be ignored. To which he said, "I am not saying that we must not ignore it, but in issues concerning religion and rituals, caution must be exercised."
On September 28, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court quashed the centuries-old restrictions that stopped menstruating women from entering Lord Ayyappa's shrine. The Supreme Court observed that it is a matter of the rights of women and there must be no discrimination on the basis of gender in the right to pray. Despite the order, the protesters have held their ground at the gates of Sabarimala and have stopped women from entering Lord Ayyappa's temple. The gates have been open for four days and no woman has been able to enter yet.
67-year-old Rajinikanth also spoke his mind on the ongoing #MeToo movement which has taken the country by storm. “Me Too movement supports women. But it must not be misused. They must use it in the correct way,” he said.