The Congress party in Kerala has come under fire after its newly appointed interim state unit chief MM Hassan described menstruation as ‘impure’ and said that ‘women should not enter temples during that period’.
"Women are impure during menstruation. Women cannot enter temples during this period," Hassan said while participating in a seminar on 'Media and Politics' yesterday.
Hassan, who took over as interim president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) recently, invited flak for his comments. Later, he was forced to clarify that it was not his personal opinion and he had only stated the prevailing social situation in the society.
"My remark about impurity is not my opinion. I only said (about) the social condition prevailing in the society", he told reporters.
"Muslim and Hindu women during their menstruation period, on their own, used to keep away from places of worship. This is the social situation that exists in the society. I only explained this when a participant asked a question in this regard at the seminar," he added.
Hassan also claimed that his statement had been distorted by a section of media.
"Whether I am supporting it or not is not the point. It is the social situation. Political parties cannot change the customs and traditions of religions," Hassan said.
On his opinion about the ban on entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 at famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, he said that political parties were not religious reformers.
"We (political parties) respect the customs and traditions of religions," he added.
Slamming Hassan, the BJP termed him 'anti-women' and asked the Congress leaders to think before making such immature comments.
“This is 21st century. A women works in every condition through the month. Rather than commenting on a gynaecological issue or an issue which is limited to women and their biology, I think he should focus on what he could do to empower women. He should stop making such,” BJP leader Shaina NC said.