Sabarimala temple row: Twitterati rake Union minister Smriti Irani over coals for menstrual blood quote; she responds with 'fake news'

As the stand-off over the entry of women of menstrual age into Kerala's Sabarimala temple continued, Union minister Smriti Irani, responding to the controversy, said that “everyone has the right to pray, not to desecrate”.

"I believe I have right to pray, but I don't have a right to desecrate. And that is the difference we need to recognise and respect. So the difference is... I am nobody to speak on Supreme Court verdict because I am a current serving cabinet minster. But just plain common sense... Would you take sanitary napkins soaked in menstrual blood and walk into a friend's home? You would not. And would you think it is respectful to do the same when you walk into the house of God?" Irani was quoted by the Indian Express as saying, at the Young Thinkers’ Conference organised by the British Deputy High Commission and the Observer Research Foundation in Mumbai.

Although responding to an audience question, she talked about her own multi-faith family and how she would not be allowed into temples with her husband and child. Irani's remarks drew sharp criticism on Twitter.

But some also came to the defense of Minister of Textiles, arguing that her quote was being misrepresented.

Later, Irani herself tweeted addressing the reports and calling it "fake news". She said she will soon release a video to address the controversy.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it would hear on 13 November the petitions challenging its Sabarimala verdict allowing women of all age groups entry into the temple.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul told lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara that it has already passed an order with regard to the listing of petitions.

Earlier the court had noted that there were 19 review petitions pending in the matter, filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association and others seeking a review of its verdict.

A five-judge constitution bench by a ratio of 4:1 had held that women of all age groups should be allowed entry into the temple.

With inputs from Press Trust of India.

Updated Date: Oct 23, 2018 19:41:51 IST