Breaking the glass ceiling, two women devotees in their 40s entered the Sabarimala Temple in the wee hours of Wednesday, a first such instance after the Supreme Court allowed the entry of women of all ages. Before Bindu and Kanakdurga, no woman in the menstrual age group was allowed to enter the temple. This comes a day after CPIM-led Left government organised a human wall in which lakhs of women took part.
Both Bindu and Kanakdurga had tried to enter the temple on December 18 too but failed after facing massive protest. A video released by ANI shows both of them entering the temple.
Both the women trekked to the hill and offered prayers to the Lord Ayyappa temple. Following the entry of two women at the shrine, the chief priest has decided to close the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in order to perform the ‘purification’ ceremony. The temple which opened at 3 am was closed at 10.30 am for performing the ritual. Normally, the shrine closes at 12.30 pm. Since the purification ceremony is on, devotees have been asked to move out of the shrine. The shrine will open in the afternoon after completion of the ritual.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the two women were given police protection during their trek to the shrine. “Earlier, women were not able to enter the temple due to certain hurdles. They may have entered the shrine today because they would not have faced any issues. It is a fact that the women have entered Sabarimala. Police have given them security,” Vijayan said.
On September 28, the Supreme Court in a landmark verdict, allowed the entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala. However, temple authorities and BJP protested against the verdict. Hundreds of women devotees of Lord Ayyappa started checking vehicles for girls and women of menstrual age at Nilackal, the main gateway to Sabarimala in Kerala and stopped them from proceeding to the hill shrine. Tension spread in other parts of the state in the area ahead of the opening of the temple gates on October 17.
#WATCH Two women devotees Bindu and Kanakdurga entered & offered prayers at Kerala’s #SabarimalaTemple at 3.45am today pic.twitter.com/hXDWcUTVXA
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2019
On November 13, the Supreme Court agreed to review its verdict that allowed entry of women of all age groups to the hilltop temple in Kerala which had sparked violent protests but refused to grant a stay. Two days later, an all-party meeting in Kerala failed to end the deadlock over the Supreme Court verdict that lifted the ban on entry for women of menstrual age to Sabarimala temple which was wrapped in an unprecedented security blanket.