The Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala, has traditionally barred all women of menstruating age i.e. from the ages of 10-50 entry into the shrine. The temple management considers the deity to be an eternal celibate, as a result of which women of menstruating ages were barred from entering the temple.
The custom in the temple was challenged by petitioners who argued that women cannot be denied the constitutional right to worship. After five-judge Constitution bench, headed by former Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, the van was lifted and women of all ages were allowed entry to the shrine. He also said the women, like their male counterparts, have every right to enter the temple and cannot be victims of gender discrimination.
The top court had made several strong statements during its verdict saying that, “To treat women as lesser children of God is blinking at the Constitution”. The court also made statements like,”Lord Ayappa is not a separate denomination” and “Rules based on biological characteristics will not muster constitution”.
In less than 48 hours afters the ruling, women and devotees took to the streets in Kochi to protest against the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women into Sabarimala temple.
Various oppositions and Hindu groups have launched protests before the opening of the temple and demanded that the state government file a review petition against the court order.
Four review petitions have been filed against the Sabarimala judgement, but the Supreme Court has said that an argument “will be listed in due course,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said.
Shiv Sena Kerala is a far-right regional political party and a member from that group, Peringammala Aji told ANI that their women squad will gather near the Pamba River on October 17 and 18 as part of their so-called suicide group.
“Our women activists will gather near the Pamba River on October 17 and 18 as part of a suicide group. When any young woman tries to enter Sabarimala, our activists will commit suicide,” Mr Aji said.