Ayyappa Swami Bhakta Vrinda to Protest against Women Entering Sabarimala Temple
Sabarimala Shri Ayyappa Swami Bhakta Vrinda to Protest against Women Entering the Sabarimala Temple near DC Office on Thursday, 3 January
2019 at 11 am.
Mangaluru: Ending a decade-long battle, the Supreme Court on 28 September 2018 in a landmark judgement, lifted the ban on the entry of women into the famous Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The court observed that physiological and biological factors can’t be given legitimacy if they don’t pass the muster of conditionality, meaning women and men are equal. In a majority judgement, the five-judge Constitution bench had observed that Article 25, the right to practice religion, is applicable to both men and women. But since then there has been protest from saffron activists, Sabarimala devotees against the ruling by SC.
But this morning the centuries-old ban was breached by two women who entered an ancient Hindu Sabarimala temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala despite strong protests by right-wing conservative groups. A video posted online by an Indian news agency showed the two women, Bindu and Kanaka Durga, hurriedly walking towards the shrine wearing black clothes with their heads covered. The temple was briefly shut down for a “purification ritual” by the priests following the announcement of the women entering the temple.
“This is a massive victory for the women of India. These two women have protected India’s constitutional rights and smashed the walls of patriarchy. But this is only the first step, we need to guard our rights in the family, in the home, in the workplace,” said a woman rights activist. “Those who have tried to purify the temple today after the women entered are standing against the constitution of this country. We have to reject these ideas,” she added, as per sources.
Following the women entry, conservative Hindu groups said they will continue to oppose women entering the temple. “The temple has now been closed for cleaning ritual following this incident where the women forcefully entered the temple. We will definitely go back to the top court to fight this battle out. It’s not over yet and we will win, had said Rahul Easwar, president of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena (Ayyappa Religious Army), that claims to protect the interests of the Lord Ayyappa. And locally here in Mangaluru, members of Sabarimala Shri Ayyappa Swami Bhakta Vrinda raising their opposition to the entry of women into the temple had organized a press meet at Hotel Woodlands
condemning the incident.
Addressing the media persons, Vishwanath K said, ” The Sabarimala shrine was historically closed to women of menstruating age until the country’s Supreme Court overturned the ban in September. Sabarimala Ayyappa temple’s website explains that since Lord Ayyappa was “Nithya Brahmachari” – or celibate – women in the 10-50 age group are not allowed to enter. But by allowing two women to enter the Sabarimala temple it has hurt the sentiments of Hindus and has broken the age-old tradition. Condemning the incident we will hold a massive protest in front of the DC’s office on Thursday, 3 January 2019 at 11 am. We urge all Hindus and believers of Ayyappa Swami to join the protest in large numbers, thereby sending a message to the Supreme Court, Kerala Government and others who had gone against our beliefs and tradition”.