Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 14
The Supreme Court’s verdict on the Sabarimala issue is expected to be leveraged by the BJP for not just establishing itself in Kerala politics but also to push for Uniform Civil Code—the pending saffron agenda after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu Kashmir and the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Significantly, while referring all review pleas to a larger seven-judge bench, the majority verdict of 3:2 by a five-bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi took note of the fact that the debate about Constitutional validity of practices restricting entry of women into places of worship was not limited to the Sabarimala temple alone but also arose in respect of entry of Muslim women in a dargah or mosque and entry of Parsi women married to a non-Parsi into the holy fire place of an Agyari. In this respect, the court also took note of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
BJP leaders have called the judgment “very significant and insightful.”
“It is a very significant, a very insightful judgment which has also revived a debate on practices in other religions. Therefore it is no longer the question of restriction of entry of women into a Hindu temple, it is also about practices in other religions,” said a BJP leader.
Incidentally, the earlier verdict on unrestricted entry of women in Sabarimala temple resulted in political repercussions for those who played a part in it, denting the fortunes of the ruling LDF led by the CPM, which initially favoured the judgment and promised to make arrangements for ensuring entry of women in the temple while the BJP and the Congress-led UDF threw weight behind protesting devotees of Lord Ayyappa.
That the BJP will drive political mileage from it is expected but as leaders said the judgment is no longer about a particular temple in Kerala “but a much larger issue which includes treating all religions in one way
The UCC, which has been a part of consecutive BJP manifestoes, is the ongoing point of debate regarding the Indian Constitution— whether or not to replace personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of every major religious community in India with a common set of rules governing every citizen.
The Supreme Court, as recently as September 2019, had frowned on the failure of governments to heed the Constitution and promulgate a UCC for the entire country. Citing the wish of the founding fathers, the Apex Court lamented that no steps have been taken for framing of the UCC despite exhortations from it.
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