Kerala Congress leader says ‘menstruation made women impure,’ asks them not to enter temple


Interim Congress president in Kerala M M Hassan has courted a controversy with remarks that menstruation made women impure and they should not enter temples during that period.

“Women become impure during menstruation. Women cannot enter temples during this period,” he told a seminar on ‘Media and Politics’ yesterday.

Having drawn flak for his comments, Hassan today sought to clarify that it was not his personal opinion and that he had only stated the prevailing “social situation”.

A group of women participants at the seminar had protested the remark, terming it as “anti-women”.

“My remark about impurity is not my opinion..I only said (about) the prevailing social condition,” he told reporters.

Hassan was recently appointed interim president of the KPCC following the resignation of V M Sudheeran.

“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. I had only explained this when a participant asked a question in this regard at the seminar,” he added.

Hassan also claimed 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,” Hassan said, adding “political parties cannot change the customs and traditions of religions.”

When asked about his opinion on the ban on entry of girls and women in the age group of 10 to 50 into the famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, he said political parties were not religious reformers.

“We (political parties) respect the customs and traditions of religions,” he said.