Ever since the Supreme Court of India verdict which allowed the entry of women devotees between 10-50 years of age into the Sabarimala temple, citing the traditions as a case of ‘gender discrimination’, the temple has unfortunately turned into a war zone. Backed by the judicial order, the Communist establishment in Kerala and the left liberal intelligentsia are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that ‘women empowerment’ is exercised in ‘true’ spirits. An equally strong force of devotees who are able to see through the farce of the cabal and realize what they’re actually up to, are equally determined not to let these agents of ‘equality’ spoil the peace of the sanctum sanctorum. While this tense situation persists, popular actor Rajinikanth has put forward his opinions on the controversial subject.
Rajinikanth said, “There is no contradictory opinion on women having equal rights.”. He then quickly went on to add, “But when it comes to temple, each will have its own set of beliefs and traditions that have been followed over the years. It is my humble opinion that nobody should interfere in those.” On being asked whether his statement hinted towards ignoring the verdict of the Supreme Court, Rajinikanth gave a well balanced reply, “I am not saying that we must not ignore it, but in issues concerning religion and rituals, caution must be exercised.” Rajinikanth has not explicitly supported those fighting for protection of the Sabarimala traditions, but has displayed the political maturity which is missing from the statements of other political leaders on the Sabarimala temple issue. He might not be openly supporting them, but at least Rajinikanth understands the plight of the devotees and seems to acknowledge their grievances against the SC verdict.
Interestingly, ever since Rajinikanth has made his debut in politics, the Thalaiva has shown on numerous occasions that he possesses excellent political maturity and insight. While he is not explicitly supporting any political party, he does have an inclination towards the centre right, as is reflected in most of his statements. Be it his zero tolerance for anarchy within the alleged anti Sterlite protests or maintaining a safe distance from getting into the linguistic politics, which the state of Tamil Nadu is extremely notorious for. Rajinikanth had even extended his support for the agitations against the arbitrary ban on Jallikattu by the Supreme Court. The statements of Rajinikanth are in complete contrast to those given by his alleged competitor, and self declared rationalist, Kamal Haasan, who has detested from taking a bold stand on this issue. When asked about the Sabrimala verdict, the actor and founder of AAP styled party ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’, Hassan said, “It won’t be proper to seek an opinion from me on this matter. I will stay in the centre and talk about things good for women. I don’t understand the (Ayyappa) devotees’ stand. So it is better not to interfere in that.”
It is clearly evident from the two statements that while Kamal Hassan wants to reap multiple benefits by sitting on the sidelines, Rajinikanth has his intentions clear and the same goes for his conscience. The senior and well respected actor won’t stop until he has achieved them all. It would be interesting to see in the coming days as to which of the two stances is accepted and welcomed by the voters of Tamil Nadu in the upcoming state elections and in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections as well.
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