After over three months of continued protests, opposing the entry of women of reproductive age into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has changed his position on the issue.
I cannot take an “open-and-shut” position on this issue- said Rahul
Congress President, who had earlier argued that all women should be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple, on Saturday said he cannot take an “open-and-shut” position on the issue as there is validity in the arguments of both the sides.
“I can see validity in both arguments. I can see validity in the argument that traditions need to be protected. I can see validity in the argument that women should have equal rights. So I would not be able to give you an open-and-shut position on this,” Mr. Gandhi said at a press meeting in Dubai on Saturday night.
Mr Gandhi, who initially explained the gap saying the state unit “represents the emotions of the people of Kerala”, now said he has come to realise the “complications”. Gandhi said he had realised that the issue was far more complicated.
He conceded that his initial position was different on the subject.
The Congress headquarters in the capital had welcomed the Supreme Court verdict, while the party MPs from Kerala opposed it. Mr. Gandhi himself had said at the time of the verdict that his stand was “slightly different” from the stance of the Congress in Kerala. “Men and women are equal. Women should be allowed to go anywhere they want,” he said.
“After I spoke to the people in Kerala, and our team there, I realised that the issue is much more complicated and both sides have a valid position. I would leave it to people to decide on this,” he told journalists in Dubai on Saturday.
The top court’s September judgment that opened the doors of Sabarimala to women of all ages had called the traditional ban “almost like untouchability”.
Earlier this month, two women in their 40s finally made their way into the temple. Another woman, a Sri Lankan, also managed to offer prayers. Also Read: Can Women Enter Sabrimala Temple? Read Supreme Court’s Top Quotes
Gandhi also justified his latest remarks on Defence Minister
At the same press meeting, Gandhi justified last week’s remarks in which he had mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for asking Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to defend him in Parliament against corruption allegations in the Rafale deal.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has helped Anil Ambani steal Rs 30,000 crore and the House of the people, Lok Sabha, is where he should have defended himself but he chose to send another person and that person happened to be a woman,” the Hindustan Times quoted Gandhi as saying.
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