Sabarimala temple to open without protection for women
The Lord Ayappa Temple is all set to open today for the Mandala Pooja Festival two days after the Supreme Court deferred the verdict in the matter. With review petitions going women’s way, women of all age group will continue to enter the temple. However, no protection will be provided to women. Gates have been opened for the annual Mandala pilgrimage.
A Women rights activist Trupti Desai said that she will be visiting the temple after November 20 regardless of whether she gets security cover or not. Pune-based women’s rights activist, Desai has been a spirited critic of the ban on the entry of women of a certain age group.
No place for activism in the Sabarimala temple: Kerala Government
Kerala government has said that there is no place of activism in the temple and the activists who are trying to make a point by taking up the pilgrimage will not be given protection.
The Sabarimala Shrine will open today at 5 pm after the Supreme Court deferred the petitions against its verdict in 2018 to the seven-judge bench. More than 10,000 cops have been deployed in four phases to heighten the security at the hill shrine.
The Supreme Court had allowed women of all ages to visit Sabarimala temple with a majority verdict of 4:1. Women and girls between the age of 10 to 50 were allowed as a religious practice, which was called “illegal and unconstitutional”. The SC upheld the constitutional right of every person to practice their faith.
More than 60 petitions were filed against the Supreme Court when the verdict sparked violent protest across Kerala. The petitions said the century-old-beliefs should not be disturbed by the entry of menstruating women worshippers as the temple deity is a ‘Brahmachari’. The opposition parties including Bhartiya Janta Party and the United Democratic Front have also been demanding that the state government must not allow women of menstruating age to the shrine.
A larger debate is needed to find the right verdict: Supreme Court
The SC said that the decision to end the ban on women entering Kerala’s Sabarimala Shrine in Pathanamthitta district will be taken by a larger seven-judge bench as it is a part of a larger debate that includes issues like Parsi and Muslim women to enter religious practice and female genital mutilation in the Dawood Bohra Community.
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