Women's rights activist Trupti Desai has claimed that the Kerala government is working ''completely against'' women. The comments come after the Kerala government decided to restrain the entry of women in Sabarimala Temple post the Supreme Court's decision to refer the matter to a larger Supreme Court bench. The State government has also decided to not provide support and security to women of menstruating age who wish to visit the temple.
Desai said that with its decision to not provide security to women who are visiting the temple, the government is trying to discourage women with the lack of protection. She also said that women will visit the temple after November 20, and will not return without entering the temple. Desai also that God does not discriminate between devotees, and thus, even the government should also allow devotees of all age groups to visit the temple irrespective of gender.
Speaking to ANI Desai said, "If the police and government are sending back women from Pamba, then I believe this is an insult to the rights of women and the Supreme Court's order as well. The government is working totally against women. The Supreme Court should also take some action against the government."
The Sabrimala temple re-opened on Saturday amid tight security for the annual Mandala-Makaravilakku puja.
The temple has reopened just days after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court referred the matter related to the entry of women into the hill temple and other issues related to various faiths to a larger bench. The state and temple precincts had witnessed protests by right-wing outfits and BJP workers last year after the LDF government decided to implement the Supreme Court verdict of September 28, 2018, allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine. Though the apex court did not stay its earlier order allowing entry of women in the Lord Ayyappa temple, the LDF government in Kerala this time said the shrine is not a ground for activism and made it clear that it would not encourage women who want to visit the temple for publicity.
Police on Saturday evening said at least 10 women, who were part of a 30-member group from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, were sent back from Pamba, 5 km from the shrine, as they were found to be in the age group of 10-50 years. Females in this age group have traditionally been barred from praying at the temple. "We checked their identity cards and found that they were in the barred age group and informed them about the current situation in Sabarimala. They did not proceed further," a police official was quoted as saying.
(With inputs from ANI)