After the historic ‘Women’s Wall’ that challenged Brahmanic Patriarchy two young women entered the Sabarimala temple early morning today. Bindu and Kanaka Durga, both in their early 40s, entered the hilltop shrine around 3.45 am. This is the first entry of women after the Supreme Court ordered the end of a decades-old ban on women of menstrual age entering the shrine.
After the women entered the temple the ‘Brahmin Tantris’ shut down the temple for “purification” in complete violation of constitution of India and the Supreme Court order. The temple was later reopened after the ”purification”
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed the visit and said: “It is a fact that the women entered the shrine. Police are bound to offer protection to anyone wanting to worship at the shrine.”
The women started the uphill trek to the temple around midnight on Tuesday, reached a little before 4 am and left after praying to Lord Ayyappa. There was no media glare and very few devotees were around at the time, which probably facilitated the”sneak” visit.
“We did not enter the shrine by climbing the 18 holy steps but went through the staff gate,” one of the women was quoted by AFP as saying.
The women were protected by small group of policemen, both in uniform and plainclothes.
Bindu and Kanaka Durga had tried to visit Sabarimala in the last week of December.
Bindu, 44, is a college lecturer and CPI(ML) activist, according to the Press Trust of India. Kanakadurga, 42, is a civil supplies employee who had come to Sabarimala on December 24 after 11 women activists of a Chennai-based outfit trying to reach the shrine were chased away by devotees chanting Ayyappa mantras.
Protests broke out in various parts of state after the entry of the two women. BJP workers waved black flags at Kerala’s minister for temple bodies, Kadakampally Surendran, in Guruvayur and the party’s youth wing workers waved black flags at Health Minister KK Shylaja. BJP workers also took out a protest march in capital Thiruvananthapuram. In Kasaragod, they blocked traffic on the national highway.
Since the top court overturned the ban on September 28, upholding the constitutional right of every individual to practice their faith, protesters had ensured that women below 50 were unable to enter the shrine. Over a dozen women tried but were stopped by a wall of protesters less than a km from the temple’s entrance.