Even after the Supreme Court order that allowed women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala’s Tirupati, women are still facing massive resistance from devotee associations and Hindu outfits. The hill shrine, where now women of any age can enter, will open on Wednesday, but the past few days have seen major tension build up at the temple’s base camp.

Pamba was the last destination near the temple where women could reach earlier. However, the protesters camping at the Nilakkal base camp, ahead of Pamba, have started stopping women from going further ahead.

A meeting has been called by the temple trustee of Travancore Devaswom Board along with all the other stakeholders of the temple.

The protesters are checking all the cars proceeding towards Sabarimala temple to see if there are any women in it. Some women have claimed that protesters dragged them out of cars and blocked their way

Reshma Nishanth, who showed interest in going to the temple this year, has reportedly received death threats from the protesters. She put up a post on Facebook and the comments on it show the regressive mentality of people who are upset because women want to enter a temple that was earlier out of reach for them.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has showed his support to the women devotees. He said, “The government will ensure all facilities to devotees to go to Sabarimala Temple and offer prayers. Government will not submit a review petition. We’ve said in court that we’ll implement the order.”

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The All-Kerala Brahmins Association collective has filed a review petition of the Sabarimala judgment in the Supreme Court. It said that the restriction on entry of women in the age group of 10-50 years cannot be seen as gender discrimination issue. It further insisted that the judgment failed to appreciate the distinction between “pilgrims” and “devotees” while also highlighting how different temples across India follow different practices such as different time of opening and closing, donation of hair etc., and cannot, therefore, be questioned.

The Shiv Sena of Kerala has vowed that if women enter the shrine, then their squad will commit suicide.

Sabrimala Temple is home of Lord Ayyappa who is a celibate. For centuries, it was believed that since Lord Ayyappa adopted celibacy, women’s entry in the temple should be restricted so that they cannot lure Lord Ayyappa out of celibacy.    

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