The rationality in allowing women to visit Sabarimala

Economics in action

This decision of the Supreme Court of India is contested within and outside the court. The dissenting judge felt that the court should not assess the rationality of religious practices. The supporters and opponents have come out with the rationale of their positions. Let me also add to this cacophony.

I do agree with the view of the dissenting judge that it is difficult to assess the rationality of religious practices. However my position is that it is possible for the court to intervene in this issue without getting much into this question of rationality. My argument will not be based on legal principles. I don’t claim to have any serious understanding of law (though have written articles and a book on `law and economics’).

Let us start by taking a simple case. A person has a puja room in her house and she does not allow her lower caste…

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