With the Sabarimala temple set to open today and the row over the entry of women intensifying, the Kerala government has assured adequate security around the sacred hill areas including Nilakkal. However, local news reports suggest there are only about 350 police personnel deployed in the area around Nilakkal whereas the number of devotees are around two thousand. The number of women personnel are few as compared to the increasing number of women devotees who are protesting. The Sabarimala temple doors are set to open for the first time to women of all ages, following a landmark Supreme Court verdict.
This morning, Subramanian Swamy tweeted, “By obstructing women who wish to worship at Sabarimala, some Hindus in Kerala it seems, have been brainwashed by years of Communist rule to become doctrinaire in thought process.”
By obstructing women who wish to worship at Sabarimalai, some Hindus in Kerala it seems, have been brainwashed by years of Communist rule to become doctrinaire in thought process.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) October 17, 2018
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan stated, “If faith is higher than the Constitution and the law of the land, why don’t you stand for temple construction in Ayodhya,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was addressing the Congress party while making this statement. He cautioned the Congress from aligning with BJP on the Sabarimala temple issue. He further said, “If everything has to be based on faith alone, what would our future be?”
Pinarayi Vijayan welcomed the apex court’s verdict regarding women’s entry to Sabarimala as a progressive one and referred to the significance of radical reforms such as the abolition of practices like Sati and untouchability. He also said that the atmosphere near Sabarimala temple seems to be charged with a threat of violence, not devotion.
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Referring to the BJP, he said that the Congress should not make the mistake of aligning with the BJP on the Sabarimala issue.
Devaswom Board president told Asianet News, “Devaswom Board is an autonomous body. We do not wish to play politics in Sabarimala. We are ready to hold discussions. Let the ‘nada’ open today. All issues will be discussed. Let us see what happens next.”
Since Wednesday morning, hundreds of Ayyappa devotees are arriving in Nilakkal, chanting “Swamiye Ayappa” and local reports say they are not permitting women pilgrims of the menstruating age to enter the temple premises. Local reports also say that police battalions are positioned strategically around the areas where the Ayyappa devotees are located.
This morning, devotees stopped Cherthala-based Libby from entering despite police intervention. There was considerable tension following this situation as the police were outnumbered by devotees.
“I am not afraid. The court order protects my right to enter the Sabarimala temple. Right from the day of court order, I have undertaken the vrat but not the 41 days vrat. I am not afraid as the police have taken all measures,” Cherthala-based Libby told local news reporters.