Smriti Irani | Facebook
Smriti Irani | Facebook
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Speaking at a conference in Mumbai, Union minister Smriti Irani said that there is a difference between praying and desecrating and one should recognise and respect it.

Amid protests against the Supreme Court order opening the Sabarimala temple in Kerala to women of all ages, Union minister Smriti Irani Tuesday said the right to pray did not mean the right to desecrate.

On September 28, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then chief justice Dipak Misra, lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

Women have been stopped by Ayyappa devotees from climbing up to the Sabarimala temple as protests against the Supreme Court order opening the hilltop shrine to women of all ages continued across Kerala.

“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.

“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,” Irani said.

The Union textile minister was speaking at the “Young Thinkers” conference organised by the British High Commission and the Observer Research Foundation here.

“I am a practising Hindu married to a Zoroastrian. I have ensured that both my kids are practising Zoroastrians, who can go to the fire temple and pray,” she said.

Irani recalled that when her children were inside the fire temple, she had to stand outside on the road or sit in the car.

“When I took my newborn son (to the fire temple), I would give him at the (temple) entrance to my husband and wait outside, because I was shooed away and told not to stand there,” she said. – PTI

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4 Comments Share Your Views


  1. In those 5 days women want to stay away from there husband then why run towards the God for its blessing. Just get this, God lives within you and not in temple. Temple are just to collect money in different form and one should avoid giving any money to them in any form.

    God ask devotion and not donation!!!!!

  2. She means to say the rule should be one in all cases. She is practising Hindu rituals and sons Zoroastrian systems as would have been agreed by her and her husband or as a matter of Parsi practice. She is trying to deviate the main issue with different religious practices being followed in different faiths In India. Apex court judgement should equally be applicable to Parsi community but there is no compulsion for going everyone to any temple. It is a wish that matters for praying to various gods. In a number of temples, it is common practice to kill animal for offering. Womenof sound mind wouldn’t opt to avoid all routine cores and visit temple in such period. Mostly, it is seen that they avoid all routines and take rest to the maximum. They also avoid prayers during such periods and not prefer to go to Sabrimala after climbing number of steps after long walk from base and you are comparing the normal offerings to serving strained discarded blood to god. The natural course doesn’t make women impure for life or for the menstrual period. There is no guarantee that the period will definitely end on attaining 50 but generally so.
    Allowing women does not mean all women would proceed to Sabrimala temple during menstrual period and not otherwise. This presumption is wrong as nobody would like to go there in such a situation. Normally most of the activities are abandoned or avoided. Only a mad may think to desecrate the temple and this also casts responsibility on society to take care of her in such a situation by hospitalising or otherwise providing suitable services.

  3. No, not in “full display”, but if a woman is “using” the sanitary napkin concealed on her person in a dignified and appropriate manner like EVERY WOMAN ALWAYS DOES, then she can jolly well step into her friends’ home. And also into God’s temple. When the doorbell rings and we welcome our friends in, do we ask the women among them, “are you having your periods? If yes, then please go back”.

    Ms. Smriti Irani knows very well that when we stand in long queues to gain entry into any temple, we all — young and old, rich and poor, MEN AND women — we all perspire a lot, and as a result our shirts etc smell of sweat. In that sense we all go in “unclean”, but does our God get angry with us for that?

    • You mean to say that Girls in those difficult day has o stand in long queue and keep wondering if there is any leakage or not to avoid the public embarrassment. Government was planning to give women rest in those five days (at least the starting day) and people like you want to fight for our women to stand in long queue for what? Just to watch some sleeping stone or Idol which is surrounded by the money hungry pundit who ask for the donation. Girls just get fit and climb Mount Everest you will get lot of mental and physical satisfaction by doing that.


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