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Would you take blood-soaked napkin to friend’s? Smriti on Sabarimala row

Mumbai: Amid a fierce debate over lifting the centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age entering Sabarimala shrine in Kerala, Union Minister Smriti Irani said that everyone has the right to pray but not to desecrate.

“It is plain common sense. Would you take sanitary napkins soaked in menstrual blood to a friend’s home? You will not. And do you think it is respectful to do the same thing when you walk into the house of God? So that is the difference. That is my personal opinion,” Smriti Irani said at the Young Thinkers’ Conference organised in Mumbai.

"I am nobody to speak on the Supreme Court verdict as I am a serving Cabinet minister but I believe I have the right to pray, but not the right to desecrate," the Union textiles minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Irani shared an anecdote when she had to wait outside a temple, with her son inside.

“I am a Hindu married to a Parsi. I have ensured that my two children practice Zoroastrianism. Both of them have done their Navjote. When I took my new-born son to a fire temple in Andheri, I had to give him at the temple gate to my husband because I was shooed away and told ‘yaha mat khade raho (Do not keep standing here)’,” she said.

“As I am not allowed to accompany my husband and children inside fire temples, I either stand on the road or wait in the car,” the minister added.

The comments evoked sharp reactions on the social media with people slamming Smriti Irani.

Mickie Merchant@MickieMerchant
Much ado about nothing and something god-given. Smriti Irani being a speaker at the Young Thinker's Conference while airing regressive opinions is the important issue here.

@smritiirani I’m not speaking fm personal exp nor do i hv any comment on Sabrimalai issue,but if my menstruating friend walks cooks works in my house,i wud hv no issues. It’s unfortunate that we hv regressive women like urself in position of power.U demean ur being a woman👎🏽

A theist would say "God has no problem ,as god has made human this way."
Reactionaries wanted to keep women as second class citizen in the name of tradition.
Being a woman and being a feminist is totally different thing.Irani is batting for patriarchs.

The Sabarimala shrine opened on October 17, for the first time after the historic Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Lord Ayappa shrine. However, no woman of the banned age group was able to enter the hill-top shrine amid massive protests by priests and devotees. The temple closed on October 22.

At least 19 petitions have been filed seeking review of the top court’s judgment delivered on September 28 by a five-judge constitution bench led by former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear those petitions on November 13.
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