India: the Entry of Two Woman into a Hindu Temple Arouses Controversy

Sabarimala Temple

Two women entered this Wednesday morning, January 2, in the Hindu Temple of Sabarimala, located in Kerala, where no woman has ever been able to pray. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the ban was discriminatory and illegal, but temple authorities continued to ban women’s entry.

It is 3:30 in the morning this Wednesday. The two women are dressed in black, their head covered with a scarf, and advance with a quick step towards the heart of this temple. They are the first women between the ages of 10 and 50 to pray in the temple of Sabarimala, Kerala.

This temple is one of the holiest shrines of Hinduism. Women of childbearing age were banned until recently under the pretext that they were unclean or could disturb the god Ayappa. In September, the Supreme Court ruled this discrimination unlawful, but for three months, faced with the resistance of the devotees, no woman has been able to enter.

It is now done. Kerala local government Chief Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed it. “It is true that the women entered the temple. The police must offer their protection to anyone who wishes to pray in the temple, “He said.

A human chain to support the decision
Tuesday 1 st January, tens of thousands of women formed a human chain to support the decision made in September by the Supreme Court. This event called “Wall of Women” was supported by the Communist Government of Kerala.

Since the decision of the Supreme Court, several women had tried to enter the sanctuary, but they had been prevented by traditionalists. Scuffles had occurred between supporters of the ban and the police. Many Hindu groups and the nationalist Bharatiya Janata (BJP) Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi oppose the decision to open the temple to all women regardless of their age.

In particular, the BJP began demonstrating in front of the regional government headquarters. And clashes took place between the police and the demonstrator. The BJP also supports a call for a general strike launched by a Hindu movement for Thursday. The two women in question have fled their homes for fear of reprisals and the police say they will protect them.

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