Days before the doors to Kerala’s Sabarimala temple will be open for women of all ages, several groups are protesting in Thiruvananthapuram against the Left government's decision to not to file a review against the Supreme Court verdict in the case.
The Pandalam royal family who raised the Sabarimala Ayyappan temple have started their fasting in front of Kerala Secretariat at Trivandrum. Many right wing activists are also sitting in protest against top court’s verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the hilltop shrine.
Activist Rahul Eashwar, while speaking exclusively to Republic TV, said the protest is to stop “so called ultra feminists to enter the Sabarimala temple”.
“The Sabarimala temple is already allowing women below 10 and over 50. We know the matter is in the Supreme Court, but our protest is like Jallikattu kind of protest which will happen in Gandhian way, we will not indulge in violence or hurt anyone. Around 10000 people, including thousands of women, will walk towards Sabarimala to save our culture and we will stop the so called ultra feminists to enter the Sabarimala temple,” said Rahul Eashwar.
"An ordinance should be brought by both state and center on this matter, else the protests will intensify. We will personally check the ID cards to verify the age of women who are going to visit the temple, none can trespass without this scrutiny by us. We are ready to attend the government's meeting, but the government should forfeit its prejudice. They cannot call us after deciding something. We are open for the meeting if the government is with open mind to discuss the issue,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government will be holding meeting with believers in Trivandrum, Kollam and Pathanamthitta where CM Pinarayi Vijayan will explain the reasons behind government not appealing against the Supreme Court verdict. The meetings are expected to be held on 16th, 23rd and 24th of this month.
Earlier on October 9, the Supreme Court refused urgent hearing on a review petition filed against the verdict allowing entry of women of all ages in Sabarimala temple.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi said the review petitions will be listed in the normal course of proceedings that no stay will be granted.
In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on September 28 ended the centuries old practice and allowed women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple. The 4:1 judgment of the Supreme Court upheld women's right to worship Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala. While terming the ban on women in the age group of 10 to 51 as religious patriarchy, CJI Dipak Misra declared the discriminatory act as unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights.