15.4 C
New Delhi
Monday 16 December 2019
India Smriti Irani on Sabarimala: Religious practices should be 'respected'

Smriti Irani on Sabarimala: Religious practices should be ‘respected’

Union minister Smriti Irani, incidentally married to a Parsi, drew an analogy between Sabarimala and a fire temple, saying she never thought she should approach the Supreme Court to seek permission to violate the faith of the community of her in-laws

New Delhi: Amid a row over the entry of women of menstrual age into Sabarimala temple, Union Minister Smriti Irani said Friday that religious practices should be “respected” and anyone breaching them just to “make headlines” would do a great disservice to the country’s diversity.

She said this during an event on the Delhi University campus in response to a question from a student on Irani’s recent comments on the issue where she said that the right to pray did not mean the right to desecrate.

“I speak from personal experience. And, I said that publicly when I made that comment. I am married to a Zoroastrian, i.e., a Parsi, and by law, I am not allowed (to enter fire temple). And, by law means not by the Constitution but by laws that govern that particular religious practice,” she said.

“Irrespective of how empowered I am, I am not allowed to enter a fire temple,” Irani told a gathering of students at a business conclave event at Shri Ram College of Commerce here.

The textile minister said her earlier comments on the issue was to tell that there are religious practices across different communities.

“I have not gone to the Supreme Court, to tell Supreme Court to give me the power to barge into a fire temple, because I respect the religious beliefs of the community that I am associated with.

“That community says, I will not have access to a fire temple. I have to stand on the road when my children are inside, praying,” she said.

She was asked why should there be a blanket restriction on women’s entry to the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, over objections from certain quarters.

“It is incumbent upon you to respect that religious practice because the Constitution gives us rights to be free, but it also impinges upon us responsibilities towards fellow citizens,” she said.

Irani said there are “many temples” across the country, where “men are not allowed”.

There are many churches, many mosques where restrictions are given for religious practices to be undertaken, she said.

“As individuals, it is our responsibility, given the diverse nature of communities in our country, to respect those tenets and those practices.

“Do we breach practices only because we seek to make headlines or do we talk about only and only matters of faith. And, that is where my comments came from,” she said.

“That if I breach somebody’s religious practice only because my face will be in the newspaper, then I do a great disservice to the diversity of India,” Irani said.

On September 28 last year, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice Dipak Misra, lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

Amid protests against the Supreme Court order opening the temple to women of all ages, Irani had in October said that the right to pray did not mean the right to desecrate.

“I am nobody to speak against the Supreme Court verdict as I am a serving cabinet minister. But just plain common sense is that would you carry a napkin seeped with menstrual blood and walk into a friend’s house. You would not,” she had said then, adding, “And would you think it is respectful to do the same when you walk into the house of God? That is the difference. I have the right to pray, but no right to desecrate. That is the difference that we need to recognise and respect.”

Besides, the minister was asked about the allegation that the BJP-led government hid important unemployment statistics which purportedly led to the resignation of key people in the National Statistical Commission.

“I am happy that you asked this question because it gives me a sense of the distortion that is being done amongst people with regards to…fake news,” Irani said in response.

The minister referred to initiatives such as the Rs 6,000-crore package to apparel manufacturers, 1.3 crore homes built by the present government, 1.7 crore capital assets built across the country by the present government through MNREGA and plan of building 1 lakh well-ness centres across the country to counter the lack of job creation narrative.

“If you look at the figures, they speak for themselves…,” Irani said.

She claimed that before the present BJP-led government assumed, rural job guarantee scheme MNREGA was used so that doles could be given out and no capital assets could be built for the country.

“We insisted that you build capital assets and as compared to a previous government where only 20 lakh such assets were made we ensured that 1.7 crore capital assets are built by those very fellow citizens who were part of a pre-existing opportunity,” said the minister.

Subscribe to our newsletter

You will get all our latest news and articles via email when you subscribe

The email despatches will be non-commercial in nature
Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction in New Delhi

Leave a Reply

Opinion

Justice That Is Instant Is Travesty

But neither the state nor society can wash their hands off this social craving for settling scores in the name of doing justice to the victim

Karnataka Voters Punished INC, JDS Leaders

Even the BJP was not confident of the result even as their leaders kept saying for public consumption they were winning all the 15 seats

The United States Of The World

The United States, stereotyped as the land of plenty and plentiful guns, is still a destination of choice for people from across the world

प्याज़ के आँसू न रोएँ — महंगाई से किसान, उपभोक्ता दोनों को फ़ायदा

जिस अल्प मुद्रास्फीति की वजह से वे सरकार से बहुत खुश थे, उसी 1.38 प्रतिशत की खाद्यान्न मुद्रास्फीति के कारण किसानों को अपने पैदावार के लिए समुचित मूल्य नहीं मिल रहे थे

CAB Can Correct Wrongs Of NRC

… if the government can fix the inept bureaucracy and explain what happens to those marked as aliens, as the neighbours are not taking them back
- Advertisement -

Elsewhere

Delhi, Assam, Bengal, Bihar set afire by anti-CAA thugs

In Delhi, suburban Bengal and Patna, the rioters' religious identity was obvious from what they wore, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said

Rabri Devi accused of domestic violence by daughter-in-law

Aishwarya said that a security worker snatched her mobile phone device at the behest of Rabri Devi to erase evidence of domestic violence and then threw all her belongings out of the house

Savarkar to Sena: Kick out INC from Maharashtra govt

Grandson of the freedom fighter Ranjit Savarkar advised Uddhav Thackeray today that if he were to throw out INC, BJP wouldn't vote against it

Mayawati calls INC bluff on Savarkar

Mayawati said it was duplicitous to curse Savarkar on the one hand and be in a coalition government with a pro-Savarkar party in Maharashtra

NEFT transaction 24×7 beginning 16 December

NEFT is a method of online transaction, in which you can transfer to another bank account up to Rs 2 lakh online at a time

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

For fearless journalism

%d bloggers like this: