Smriti Irani also shared an incident when she had to wait outside a fire temple.
Everyone has the right to pray, but not to desecrate, Union Minister Smriti Irani today said in the middle of a fierce debate over the ban on women of menstrual age entering Kerala's famous Sabarimala shrine and a Supreme Court order overturning it.
"I am nobody to comment on the Supreme Court verdict but I believe I have the right to pray, but not the right to desecrate," Smriti Irani, 42, said at an event in Mumbai called the Young Thinkers' Conference.
"Would you take sanitary napkins steeped in menstrual blood and walk in to a friend's home? You could not. And would you think it is respectable to do the same thing when you are walking into the house of God? So that is the difference," said the minister.
She shared an incident when she had to wait outside a temple, with her son inside. "I was once shooed away from praying inside a fire temple at Andheri and handed over my son to priest for completing Navjote formalities. I stood on the road outside and prayed," she said.
The comments have provoked sharp reactions on social media.
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.
— Mickie Merchant (@MickieMerchant) October 23, 2018
U need to undrstnd the context she has spoken wth. Putting pad where it belongs has no issue but if some1 keeps pad in hands wanting to enter temple is disrespect of Dharma. So before U say anything else I want you understand whole case here.. @smritiirani explained it perfectly. https://t.co/jxsJKZ4wp0
— Harshal Purohit (@iPurohitHarshal) October 23, 2018
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.
— Mukesh (@Mukesde7) October 23, 2018
Wasn't "God" the one who created women and their menstrual cycle? so not only must women hide something as natural as menstruation.. but we must also keep it away from "the house of God" right.
— French. (@Jinx_Crimson91) October 23, 2018
The Supreme Court last month ended a centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age, or between 10 and 50 years, entering the Sabarimala shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, a celibate god.
But no woman below 50 could enter the temple when it opened for the first time since the court order last week, amid massive protests by priests and hundreds of devotees who refused to let go of the archaic tradition. Both the BJP and the Congress backed the protesters and demanded that Kerala's Left government come up with an ordinance or special order to override the Supreme Court order and restore the ban.