Shiv Sena Senior Leader Threatens Mass Suicide Over The Sabarimala Row, Later Calls It "Stupid"
Following the Supreme Court’s decision of allowing women irrespective of their age into the Ayyappa temple of Sabarimala, the Kerala Shiv Sena have reportedly cautioned mass suicide by the members if the decision is not reversed. Shiv Sena has been violently objecting the verdict which was made on September 28 by the SC which has ended the prohibition of women aged between 10 and 50 into the Sabarimala temple. The court ruled 4-1 in favour of abolishing the century-old ban. It was stated that the devoutness of followers should not be made a target of gender discrimination.
Peringammala Aji, Sena’s member said that a multitude of activists will congregate near Pamba river on two days, October 17 and 18, and will ‘commit suicide’ if young women enter the temple when it opens. He reportedly said that the Sena will do anything to stop young women from entering the temple and if they do not stop then they will have to move over the dead bodies of the members of Sena, the activists are adamant in not allowing the disruption of tradition even if it is Tripti Desai who wishes to do that. “Our members will be stationed at various places in and around the (Sabarimala) temple and if any woman not supposed to enter the temple is granted get access, then their suicide squad members will take their lives,” said Aji, as reported by The News Minute.
Peringammala had later withdrawn the statement about mass suicide and instead has come up with a warning against the women, saying that committing suicide ‘is an act of stupidity’, as reported by The Financial Express. There have been warnings from different groups since the judgement was first pronounced, however, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan agreed to follow SC’s order. Amidst all the chaos, the Pandalam family is challenging a review petition to be filed by either the state government or the Travancore Devaswom Board.
As reported by NDTV, the Supreme Court on September 28 ruled that all women can enter the Sabarimala temple, even the women of menstruating age that is those aged between 10 and 50 can now enter the temple. The SC bench of five judges was headed by Justice Misra and included Justices R.F. Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. The decision was 4-1 in favour of abolishing the ban, all judges agreed to that except for Justice Indu Malhotra who voted against the order.
BJP started a march from Pandalam on October 10 to dissent LDF government’s decision to agree with the SC verdict. PS Sreedharan Pillai, BJP president of Kerala is leading the Save Yatra from Pandalam to Thiruvananthapuram in order to oppose the government’s decision and put into perspective the feelings of devotees of the temple who are protesting.
On the other hand, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) have requested Pandalam family and leaders of Ayyappa Seva Sangham to a meet on Tuesday morning to possibly find a solution about the ongoing protests. This may be the last option for the LDF government which can put an end to the protests and hostile conditions which started as a result of the SC verdict. This discussion will be an important factor in avoidance of the clash between the Sena members and women who will attempt to enter the temple once it opens on October 17.