For the first time since the Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of menstruating ages to enter Sabarimala temple, two women under the age of 50 entered the hill temple on Wednesday. Bindu Ammini (42) and Kanakadurga (39) are currently in a safe location and are being given protection by the police as they face the threat of protests and violence from people who are angry that they entered the shrine. So who are these women who braved these threats and entered the temple anyway?
Bindu Ammini is a lawyer, and currently teaches at the School of Legal Studies, Kannur University. After completing her Master's in Law, she has taught in several colleges and universities, including the Calicut University. A student activist who was member of the leftist Kerala Vidyarthi Sanghatana, Bindu was later associated with the CPI (ML).
In her younger days, Bindu was active in student politics. She served as a leader of the Kerala Vidyarthi Sanghatana, a leftist student organisation. She took to teaching after completing a Master’s in Law from Kerala University, and currently teaches at the School of Legal Studies, Kannur University. The Pathanamthitta native is also registered and working as an advocate in Koyilandi court. Bindu's husband Hariharan is a lecturer.
Speaking to TNM, CPI (ML) politburo member PJ James said, "Bindu was a state committee member of the party ten years ago. After that, she has had no connection with the party at all. It's factually incorrect to say that she is currently part of the CPI (ML).”
The second woman who made the trek to the temple is 44-year-old Kanakadurga, an employee with the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation from Angadipuram in Malappuram.
According to reports, Bindu and Kanakadurga got acquainted with each other through a Facebook page called Navothana Keralam Sabarimalayilekku, or Renaissance Kerala, a page where women who wanted to go to Sabarimala would converge.
Bindu and Kanakadurga had tried to trek to Sabarimala on December 24, and their attempt was aborted after protests. Following this, Bindu's house in Areekode and her husband’s house in Angadipuram had been attacked by right wing groups.
Kanakadurga had reportedly fainted on her way to the temple on December 24, but seems to have made the trek on Wednesday with no problems. During her December 24 attempt, before deciding to turn back, Kanakadurga had told media, “We will wait for however long we have to. Let the protestors be there, they can’t stop us from visiting the temple. This is our democratic right and that’s why we have come to Sabarimala.”
The whereabouts of these two women were not known for almost a week.
The two women arrived at Sabarimala hill between midnight and 1 am on Wednesday and reached the shrine by 3.30 am. In a telephonic interview to Asianet on Wednesday morning, Bindu said that she, Kanakadurga and a few companions had conducted their darshan at Sabarimala around 3.30 am. “We conducted darshan with police protection. We informed the police about our arrival once we reached Pamba, and faced no protests or issues from devotees.”
As she visited the temple on Wednesday, appreciation poured in from Bindu's students and friends on her Facebook page.
All the women who tried to enter Sabarimala, and the ones who finally did
All the women who tried to enter Sabarimala, and the ones who finally didPosted by TheNewsMinute on Wednesday, 2 January 2019