Sabarimala temple shut for 'purification' after two women under 50 enter shrine

Posted January 02, 2019

After Vijayan confirmed the news of the two women, massive protests were reported in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and other districts in Kerala.

The wall was organized in the backdrop of conservative protestors blocking the entry of women of menstruating age at the Sabarimala temple.

"Today, two women entered Sabarimala temple". The ban was informal for many years, but became law in 1972. The Hindu temple was historically closed to women of "menstruating age".

Bindu, one of the women who entered the temple on Wednesday, was threatened by right-wing protesters earlier and her house was vandalised, said Selvi. In wake of the verdict, a group of radical believers, under threat of violence, prevented any women aged 10-50 to even approach the temple. "Police have given them security", Vijayan told media here. According to reports, the women have released a video and claimed that they entered the temple at around 3.45 am.

Women who had tried to enter following the court ruling had to turn back because of protesters. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Lakhs of women stood should-to-shoulder across the national highways, creating a 620 km-long human "wall" from the northern end of Kasaragod to the southern tip in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Footage has emerged showing part of the human chain in the city of Thrissur after the "women's wall" was organised by Kerala state's left-wing coalition government on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court has agreed to re-examine its decision to lift the ban later this month in response to 49 petitions filed against it.

Mrs Ravi agrees and says, "Earlier women were afraid to leave their homes or to handle cash". Traditionally, girls and women in the menstruating age group of 10-50 years were barred from offering prayers at the temple, the presiding deity of which is "Naishtika Brahamachari" (perennial celebate).

Four transgender women, accompanied by police, were allowed to pray inside the Sabarimala shrine in December.

One would also be mistaken to think that the wall was ONLY about Sabarimala - it was much larger than that, the dissent carries the stardust of bigger dreams and greater ambitions that the women of the state have within them.

A local official from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party called for protests.

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Government employees took part in the demonstration, while schools were given a half day and university exams delayed so that students could join the protest, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Local media said the temple was shut down for cleansing rituals after the women entered the premises.

Of course, I support the move to allow women of all ages into the temple.

The Supreme Court is to hear challenges to its landmark ruling from January 22.

The protests led to violence in the area forcing the police to impose restrictions and prohibitory orders and arrest dozens of people.

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