Women should enter Sabarimala openly, not secretly: CPI

03 January, 2019, 00:10 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Some 5 Million Indian Women Form Massive Human Chain for Gender Equality (PHOTO)

Malappuram resident Kanakadurga, 46, and Kozhikode local Bindu said that they began climbing the steps to Lord Ayyappa shrine around midnight and reached the temple at 3:45 am for darshan.

Meanwhile, at the pilgrim centre, the Sabarimala Tantri Kandararu Rajeevarau with the blessings of the erstwhile Pandalam royal family conducted a "purification ritual" at the shrine after the entry of Bindu and Kanakadurga. Police have provided security to the homes of the two women fearing possible protests.

Two women secretly entered the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday, breaching a blockade formed around the site by devotees who have been enraged by an Indian Supreme Court decision to overturn a ban on women aged between 10 and 50.

The women trekked the hill a day after the state-sponsored 620-km-long "wall of women", which was formed from Kasargode in the northern part of the state until the southern-most district of Thiruvananthapuram, to reignite the spirit of renaissance.

The women who entered the temple premises were in their 40s, according to Reuters partner ANI.

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Extending support to the campaign, women from several organisations and social activists came together to form a almost one km-long human chain from Dadar Chowpatty to Shivaji Park in Mumbai on Tuesday evening. "Police are bound to offer protection to anyone wanting to worship at the shrine".

Sabarimala Karma Samiti, which spearheaded the "Nama Japam" agitation against the state government's decision to implement the apex court order allowing women of all ages into Sabarimala, sought the chief minister's resignation.

Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose government supports the Supreme Court ruling, told reporters that the women's entry into the temple was a historic moment.

The temple has historically banned women of "menstruating age" - deemed to be between 10 and 50 - from entering on the grounds that menstruating women are "unclean".

"This is a massive victory for the women of India". Close to 8 lac people gathered during the Ayyappa Jyothi ritual at the temple and stood in favour of Sabarimala tradition in the communist dominated state.

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The event dominated the conversation on social media, where users kept sharing powerful images of women standing up for their rights.

The campaign was sparked by controversy over a court ruling to allow women into the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala.

The restriction on woman at Sabarimala, situated on top of a 3,000-foot (915-metre) hill in a tiger reserve that takes hours to climb, reflects a belief - not exclusive to Hinduism - that menstruating women are impure. The temple is dedicated to the god Ayyappan, believed to be the son of Shiva and Vishnu.

But India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has argued that the court ruling is an attack on Hindu values.

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