OCTOBER 20, 2018
Actor Rajinikanth. File | Photo Credit: A SHAIKMOHIDEEN
On #MeToo movement, he says it is “beneficial” for women, but cautions that “it should not be misused and should [be] used properly.”
Actor Rajinikanth on Saturday said there should be no “interference” in temple traditions that were being followed for a long time.
This his first response to the recent Supreme Court order allowing entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Kerala and the subsequent protests.
Mr. Rajinikanth, however, said there was no second opinion on equality for women in every sphere.
“But when you talk about a temple, every temple has its time honoured rituals, besides traditions being followed for a long time. My humble opinion is that no one should interfere in that,” he told reporters in Chennai.
While noting that the top court verdict should be “respected”, the 67-year-old actor indicated that caution should be exercised when it came to matters of religion and related rituals.
Kerala has been witnessing protests against the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple since the government said it would abide by the ruling of the apex court.
The agitation has intensified since the shrine was opened for the five-day monthly pooja on October 17.
On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, lifted the centuries-old practice of not allowing women of menstrual age into the shrine.
On the #MeToo movement that has seen several women levelling sexual harassment charges against men including celebrities and political personalities, Mr. Rajinikanth said it was “beneficial” for women.
However, “it should not be misused and should [be] used properly,” he cautioned.
Chinmayi’s charge against Vairamuthu
On national award-winning lyricist Vairamuthu being accused of sexual harassment, the actor said the poet had denied the charges made by singer Chinmayi Sripaada.
Former Union Minister MJ Akbar, film personalities like Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Rajat Kapoor and Vairamuthu have been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women under the #MeToo movement.
To a question on the launch of his proposed party, Mr. Rajinikanth said 90 per cent of the work was over and that he would make an announcement at the right time.