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July 18, 2018

Indian Supreme Court declares barring women of certain age group from entering Sabarimala temple as unconstitutional

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Indian Supreme Court declares barring women of certain age group from entering Sabarimala temple as unconstitutional

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Crime and law
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On Wednesday, Indian Supreme Court declared that preventing women of age 10–50 from entering the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala was “arbitrary” and unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court began the hearing for the public interest litigation filed by petitioners including the Indian Young Lawyers Association on Tuesday. A panel of five judges — Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Indu Malhotra as well as the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra — heard the case of traditional prohibition of the entry to the temple, based “on a biological factor exclusive to the female gender.”

Women of age 10–50 were prevented from entering the “Lord” Ayyappan‘s temple for centuries, as that was the age when females generally had monthly menstrual cycles. Ayyappan was considered a celibacy and earlier this year, the Travancore Devaswom Board made it compulsory for women to produce an age proof in order to enter the temple. Ravi Prakash Gupta, who was one of the representatives of the petitioners, said, “Mere sight of a woman does not affect anyone’s celibacy if one has take[n] the oath of it, otherwise, such oath has no meaning.” Menstruation has been considered as a taboo in the Indian society, and women were barred from entering the kitchen or a temple during the menstruation cycle.

A number of fundamental rights mentioned in the Indian Constitution including the right against discrimination on the basis of gender or sex, per the Article 15; right to freedom of practice of any religion per Article 25; and abolishment of untouchability in Article 17 were considered in this case.

Citing the Article 25 (a) of the Indian constitution, Justice DY Chandrachud said, “All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.” Chandrachud went on to say, “This means your right as a woman to pray is not dependent on a legislation. It is a constitutional right. Nobody has an exclusionary right of entry to a temple.”

Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, “On what basis do you deny the entry. Once you open it for public, anybody can go.” Misra also said, “In a public place of worship, a woman can enter, where a man can go. What applies to a man, applies to a woman.”

Saying the state government is “bound to take” the Supreme Court’s verdict, Kerala’s Minister K Surendran said, “The state government’s stand is that women should be allowed to offer prayers in Sabarimala Temple […] Devaswom board now has the same opinion as that of government.”



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Institute of Economics and Management in Industry releases encyclopedia ‘All Russia’ under a free license

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Institute of Economics and Management in Industry releases encyclopedia ‘All Russia’ under a free license

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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The Institute of economics and management in industry located in Moscow, Russia sent an official confirmation to Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository run by Wikimedia Foundation, allowing to release the ‘All Russia’ encyclopedia published by the Institute under a free licence. Wikimedia Commons confirmed the permission and uploaded the file on 26 June 2018.

According to the “University Book” (Университетская книга) online portal and according to the Wikimedia Russia chapter, ‘All Russia’ became the first paper encyclopedia in Russia to be released under a free licence.

The permission came in the form from the head of the institute, Oleg Arkadevich Mikheev, to an official Wikimedia Commons address which is processed by volunteers to confirm the licensing permissions of newly created uploads. After the permission confirmation, a licensing volunteer from Wikimedia Commons whose Wikimedia username was ‘Lvova’, uploaded the file at 14:15 (UTC) on 26 June 2018.

The encyclopedia had an alphabetic index of cities and localities in Russia. Specifically according to the introduction at the beginning of the encyclopedia, 1448 localities are included of the Russian Federation, including 1051 cities, 366 settlements, 25 villages, 5 stations, and one sloboda — a large village or settlement, usually populated by non-serf (free) peasants — Bolshaya Martynivka. The encyclopedia was first published in 2001.

The free licence was Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International. It allowed everybody to copy, distribute and transmit the work, and to adapt the work, under the conditions of attribution and sharing alike. Sharing alike required that person, if they alter, transform, or build upon this work, they may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

The Wikimedia Russia chapter, a non-profit supporting Wikimedia projects in Russia, has responded by publishing a press release in which they endorsed the move.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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