Shankaracharya Swaroopanand, a Hindu religious leader in India, has caused a controversy for suggesting that allowing women into the Shani Shingnapur temple would increase the number of rapes. The temple, after nearly four centuries of admitting only men, opened to women two days ago after the Mumbai high court granted women the right to enter and pray in all temples last month. They ruled that women had a fundamental right to enter all temples in India, and would punish those who prevent them from gaining access with a 6-month jail sentence. “Women entered Shani temple’s inner sanctum,” the 94-year old religious leader said according to news agency ANI. “The women are worshipping Shani in the temple. By doing so, Shani’s eyes would fall on women and this would result in increase of rape incidents.”
In the past, temple officials had argued that the ban was there to protect women from radiation emitted by Shani, which could cause deformities in a fetus in case a woman was pregnant. Swaroopanand’s comments provoked a storm of criticism in social media, with many ridiculing his remarks, although a few others endorsed his remarks.
Shouldn't this moron Shankaracharya Swaroopanand be arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA)? https://t.co/jzNsC4vPwS
— Aarti Tikoo Singh (@AartiTikoo) April 11, 2016
If people like Shankaracharya Swaroopanand will lead religious practices, only God can save the religion.
— Rahul Raj (@bhak_sala) April 11, 2016
Read the full story at the BBC.