Headlines November 17, 2019
Sabarimala temple opens amidst protests
Sabarimala temple in Kerala opened on Saturday evening for its 41 day long annual pilgrimage season. Security has been tightened across the temple and nearby areas. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier assured that over 10,000 policemen will be deployed so that no incidents of violence takes place in the next couple of months.
Vijayan stated that women activists who try to enter the temple will not be given any police protection since a temple is not a place for activism. “A temple is for affirmation of aastha in a deity and not for tourism. Temple is private space of a deity with his/her privacy rights. The equation in Sabarimala is simple: 1. If you have aastha, you will never violate Ayyappa’s vow; 2. If no aastha, you have no business to go”, tweeted writer Sanjay Dixit.
Last year, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on women of menstruating age to Sabarimala. This had caused widespread protests in the state with right wing leaders and followers attacking women pilgrims who tried to enter the temple. The verdict will now be looked into by a seven judge bench. “Young Women NOT allowed in #Sabarimala – Will keep the positive spirit of Hon’ble Supreme Court in sending the issue to 7 member bench. Any invasion by Urban Naxals will be guarded”, tweeted Rahul Easwar.
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