Kerala: 36-Yr-Old Woman Claims To Have Entered Sabarimala Temple
Days after two women in their 40s entered Sabarimala temple in Kerala which resulted in widespread protests, a 36-year-old woman on January 9 claimed that she entered the hill shrine on the early hours of Tuesday, January 8.
Woman claims to have entered temple
SP Manju, President of the Kerala Dalit Mahila Federation, in her Facebook page claimed that she offered prayers at 7:30 am on Tuesday. However, both the police authorities or the Travancore Devaswom Board have not verified this claim, reported Times Now.
Manju reportedly told Asianet that she reached Pamba at 4 AM on Tuesday morning and entered the temple a little after 6 AM. Manju, who hails from Kollam said that she trekked the hill alone without any police protection and even climbed the 18 steps before entering the temple. She had even carried an irumudikettu (bag of holy offerings) inside the temple. However, she said that to enter the temple without any hindrances, Manju had dyed her hair grey to resemble an old woman.
According to The News Minute, a Facebook group Navodhana Keralam first made the claim that the woman entered the temple, however, both the Kerala police and the Travancore Devaswom Board are yet to verify the claims. In the case of the two women, the authorities had confirmed their entry into Sabarimala.
Commenting on the women’s claim, Rahul Easwar, activist and leader of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena took to Twitter and wrote:
There are some reports of a Young woman impersonating herself as Old woman and entering #Sabarimala
such cheap tactics of using Old woman makeup and using disguise & mask is unbecoming of a Citizen & devotee
— Rahul Easwar (@RahulEaswar) January 9, 2019
However, rejecting the claims of disguise, Manju told The New Indian Express, “I did not enter disguised as an old woman. I usually smear sacred ash on my head while visiting temples. Many people at Sannidhanam had identified me and they helped me knowingly.” She added that after her, any woman can go inside the temple as the jinx has been broken. Meanwhile, Two women, Bindu and Kannaka Durga , who entered the temple last week are still living in isolation in an undisclosed location, reported NDTV.
Women between the menstruating age of 10 to 50 were barred from entering the temple until the apex court uplifted the ban on September 29, 2018. The state of Kerala has seen frenzied protests from devotees, barring the entry of women ever since.