Sabarimala Protests: 52-Yr-Old Woman Sustains Injuries But Enters Temple After Showing Age Proof
The Logical Indian Crew Kerala
November 7th, 2018 / 6:08 PM
Image Credits: ANI
As the gates of Sabarimala temple opened for the public Monday for two days for the “Chitira Atta Thirunal” puja, protestors injured a 52-year old woman and media people on the morning of November 6. The protesters gathered at Nadapanal to prevent her from entering the temple as they suspected her to be of the restricted menstrual age of 10 to 50 years.
#Kerala: Lalitha (Pic 1: in the centre), a 52-year-old woman devotee from Thrissur, whose entry to #SabarimalTemple was opposed by protesters, offered prayers at the temple under police protection. She had come along with her family. pic.twitter.com/RdJeWflhk4
— ANI (@ANI) November 6, 2018
Local news media crew were also attacked and injured. Later, the woman was identified as Lalitha, hailing from Thrissur along with her family and did not fall under the restricted category. Reportedly, the protesters claimed that she was lying about her age, and was forced to show her Aadhaar card as a proof. The police escorted her along with the family to the medical centre in the temple reported India Today.
She entered the temple with police protection after receiving first aid. Lalitha had accompanied her family to initiate Annaprashana ceremony for her six-month-old grandson. Annaprashana is the ceremony followed in the Hindu custom, where the infant is fed solid food (rice) other than milk and water for the first time.
Violence persists even after SC order
The Sabarimala shrine opened on November 5 for the second time after the Supreme Court’s verdict to uplift the ban on women entering the temple, who lie in between the ages of 10 to 50 years was delivered. Reportedly, A commando team of 20 members and 2300 personnel along 100 women personnel were deployed to ensure safety and security to the devotees.
However, a 26-year-old girl was stopped from entering the base camp in Pamba on the same day. Protesters also stopped two more women above the age of 50 years. The protesters pose a significant threat to the women visitors since the apex court’s verdict. A dozen women including journalists were earlier threatened and restricted to enter the temple. Few were forced to step back even after reaching the closest stage towards the shrine.
The protest at Pamba continues to get violent in spite of the deployed police forces. The celibate state of the presiding deity Ayyappa has triggered the devotees to stop women of menstrual age.
The protest continued to intensify as the top priest threatened to shut the temple. Reportedly, the High Court of Kerala cautioned that the State Government has no right to interfere with the affairs of the Sabarimala temple.
The Logical Indian Take
Amid protests for and against the verdict, violence towards human is not a good virtue. Lalitha was injured in spite of not falling in the restricted age category. The problem between traditional classic customs and new modern customs exist everywhere, but violence can’t be a solution. It would take some time to accept and adjust with the new changes. It is not advisable to go against the law even after the court decision.
Sabarimala temple is a seasonal temple that opens only for a few days. It never distinguished people from different religions, unlike other temples. It is our responsibility to protect the devotees and encourage than curbing and threatening against the law.
Written by : Abbinaya Kuzhanthaivel (Student, IIJNM)
Edited by : Sromona Bhattacharyya