As the latest episode of the Sabarimala controversy rages on, the woman in the middle of it all has given a strong statement, dismissing the allegations piled on her by right wing outfits.
On Saturday, a massive controversy was kicked off after pictures of CJ Anila, the Chief Engineer of the National Health Mission, were circulated on social media platforms. Right wing groups claimed that the woman in the picture, taken at the Sabarimala shrine, was less than 50 years old – and was thereby breaking the rules of entry at the temple.
Women in the age group of 10 to 50 years are not allowed inside the Sabarimala temple.
CJ Anila has now sent a complaint letter to the CM, saying that the allegations against her are false, and part of an undesired conspiracy. She was accused of intentionally violating the traditional norm of the temple that bans entry for women in the age group of 10 to 50 years. In the letter addressed to the CM of the state, Anila also clarifies that she is in fact 51 years old and can very well produce legit documents and papers to substantiate her claims. Anila also said that she will resort to legal help and support to fight the false charges slapped on her.
Anila was dragged into controversy after she visited the temple with Health Minister KK Shylaja. The Health Minister had visited the shrine for the inauguration of the new hospital building constructed in the temple. The minister was accompanied by a bunch of officials from the National Health Mission, including CJ Anila, who was one among the many who were at the forefront to construct the hospital at the temple.
The Hindu outfits had held the Travancore Devaswom Board responsible for breaking the present system followed at the holy shrine and violating the existing practice of banning entry for women in the age group of 10 to 50 years to Sabarimala.
Women in the age group of 10-50 years are not allowed inside Sabarimala as the deity is 'celibate'. The controversial rule has been challenged in the Supreme Court, where a constitutional bench will now decide if the current ban violates fundamental rights.
The Constitution bench is looking into whether women's right to equality before law guaranteed under Article 14 could be invoked to enter the shrine, in the face of the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion guaranteed to the Devaswom board under Article 25, and their freedom to manage religious affairs guaranteed under Article 26 of the constitution.