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Why is menstruation a religious taboo, students ask SC

NEW DELHI,KRISHNADAS RAJAGOPAL: Students who are a part of the ‘Happy to Bleed’ campaign has asked the Supreme Court why the healthy biological process of menstruation is used in the name of religion to discriminate against women.

A Special Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra, which is hearing the Sabarimala temple entry issue, will consider the intervention application. The students want the apex court to address and decide on whether modern society should continue to bear with “menstrual discrimination” when the Indian Constitution mandates right to equality and health of women to achieve gender justice.

The students, represented by senior advocate Indira Jaising, have asked how a religious “taboo” that prohibits the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years to the Sabarimala temple continues to be widely accepted and even justified by the authorities in violation of the rights of women under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

At a preliminary hearing on Friday, Justice Misra had asked whether the Vedas, Upanishads and scriptures discriminate between men and women. “Is spirituality solely within the domain of men? Are you saying that women are incapable of attaining spirituality within the domain of religion? Can you deprive a mother?” Justice Misra had asked.

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