Gods' Homes, Men's Courts, Women's Rights

ICON, Vol. 16, No. 2 (2018), pp. 552-73

Posted: 26 Aug 2018

See all articles by Deepa Das Acevedo

Deepa Das Acevedo

University of Alabama - School of Law

Date Written: August 7, 2018


For decades, the Hindu temple at Sabarimala has drawn media attention and the occasional lawsuit because of its ban on women aged ten to fifty. Most recently, popular campaigns for expanding women’s access to temples have revived a twelve-year-old public interest suit before the Indian Supreme Court. The petitioners in that suit argue that Sabarimala’s ban, though earlier recognized as an “essential practice” of Ayyappan worship, violates constitutional guarantees of equality and religious freedom. Opponents counter that the ban is in keeping with constitutional guarantees that religious denominations may govern their internal affairs and keep control over their religious institutions. This article provides a “state of the field” overview with respect to essential practices jurisprudence and the Sabarimala dispute on women’s entry, drawing on case law and media coverage to construct a history of the Sabarimala dispute writ large and to contextualize the current litigation within that broader history.

Keywords: Sabarimala, Temple Entry, Indian Constitution

JEL Classification: Z12

Suggested Citation

Das Acevedo, Deepa, Gods' Homes, Men's Courts, Women's Rights (August 7, 2018). ICON, Vol. 16, No. 2 (2018), pp. 552-73, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3228139

Deepa Das Acevedo (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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