Hindus chant devotional songs during a protest against reports of two women of menstruating age entering the Sabarimala temple, one of the world's largest Hindu pilgrimage sites, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. India's Supreme Court on Sept. 28, 2018 lifted the ban on women of menstruating age from entering the temple, holding that equality is supreme irrespective of age and gender. (AP Photo/R S Iyer) Image Credit: AP

  • Sabarimala temple issue escalates, reader urges people to stop using belief as an excuse.

Belief is powerful. We all hold our own and for some of us our belief is what defines us and our purpose. Belief becomes the guiding light in life. Following the surprising court verdict by the Supreme Court of India with regards to women being allowed entry to the Sabrimala temple, the state of Kerala has been in a state of chaos. The temple being at the eye of the storm.

Last week, two women were finally able to enter the temple. There are a lot people questioning their actions, the actions of the devotees crowding the temple and the actions of the temple authorities. They are all playing to their beliefs. It is a sensitive issue. This is now a highly politicised argument about finding the balance between religion, law and equal rights.

Though I cannot question the strength of someone’s belief, I can only wonder that at what point do we allow ourselves to lose sight of women and start thinking of them as the problem? Till what point is devotion justified?

Women have visited the temple and have caused no harm to it. It has taken months for these women to get to the temple, how much time will it take for thousands of other women?

It is important to understand and respect the views of the devotees, but as citizens, it is also their responsibility to respect the law. It is now their time to familiarise themselves with the current times instead of creating barriers. People need to help create a safer experience for women to practise the same religion and should build bridges, not tear them down.

- The reader is an analyst based in Dubai.