Defying the tradition that is running for ages, two women have entered Sabarimala temple. This incident has started violent protests all over Kerala. To tackle the hostile crowd, the police had to blast water cannon and fire teargas targeting the rowdy protesters.
Women of menstruating age are not permitted to enter the Sabarimala temple. In September last year, the Supreme Court of India gave a ruling instructing the authorities to lift the ban on the women of childbearing age.
The contention started at that point. The temple has refused to follow orders of the Supreme Court and still not allowed women of menstruating age to enter the temple. The communist government of Kerala has sworn to support the women who want to trek to the temple. The Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has stated that the issue is not about the ritualistic codes but about the civil rights of women.
One of the two women who entered the temple and completed the darshan, a ritual of standing before the God, has said that they had to keep their intention secret. It was reported that the temple has been closed for purification after the women left the premises. The temple has reopened after sometimes.
In India, religion often becomes a political issue, more so if an election is nearby. Thus, this incident has been taken up by almost every political party of India. The most vocal protesters belong to the BJP, the same party of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Kerala State President of BJP has said that this is a scheme of the disbelieving rulers against the Hindus.
Another major party, Indian National Congress that rarely sings in the same tune as BJP has also called for protests. When asked about the issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the issue is more about the religious tradition rather than gender equality.
It is still a mystery how those women hoodwinked the devotees who were guarding the temples day and night.