Protests erupt after women break decades-long ban on entering Hindu temple

Protests erupt after women break decades-long ban on entering Hindu temple

Protests erupt after women break decades-long ban on entering Hindu temple

The Supreme Court has agreed to re-examine its decision to lift the ban later this month in response to 49 petitions filed against it. Opponents of the ruling say the celibacy of the temple's presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is protected by India's Constitution, and that women of all ages can worship at other Hindu temples.

As the fight for women's entry into the Sabarimala temple, despite a Supreme Court order, reaches a feverish pitch, satire articles and fake photos have jumped into the melee as well. "However, we did not expect it to happen a day after the campaign", he added. "We are 100 percent sure that we didn't hurt people".

According to the Guardian, the two women who entered the temple have been named by local media as Bindu and Kanaka Durga. Reuters reports that thousands took part, while other local news outlets put the number at hundreds of thousands, and other local outlets estimated the figure was in the millions.

The Sabarimala Temple on a hill has become the venue for clashes between Hindu traditionalists and supporters of September's court ruling which ended a longstanding ban on women aged between 10 and 50 years.

"We gathered to express solidarity for gender equality and what our sisters were doing in Kerala".

"I had earlier made it clear that the government will provide protection if any women come forward to enter the temple", said Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Congress, which is opposing the entry of women into the temple, staged demonstrations across the state in protest against the violation of customs and rituals at the temple.

Two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala early Wednesday and offered prayers at the shrine, where women of menstruating age are traditionally not allowed.

News of the visit triggered protests in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, where police fired teargas and used water cannons to disperse a large crowd of demonstrators.

Fresh protests broke out in several places in the state after the women entered.

September's verdict was the latest progressive ruling from the court, with judges also overturning bans on gay sex and adultery a year ago - posing a challenge to Modi's traditionalist BJP. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran said that the party will strengthen the agitation if the government continued with the support to the women. The pair attempted to access the temple in December but were prevented by "right wing Hindu protesters determined to uphold the ban". The BJP will support the struggles against the destruction of faith by the Communists. Bindu hails from Kozhikode, while Kanakadurga is from Malappuram district in Kerala. "And men don't go", Modi told Indian media. "Lots of women have been visiting the temple after the verdict". The duo sneaked into the temple with the help of the police on the small hours of Wednesday.

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