The Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala where it allowed women of all ages to enter the temple was a matter of controversy, with it being welcomed and opposed in equal measure. While religion and divinity have been the grounds for opposition and protests have been held against the verdict, there have been not been any open threats from prominent voices, until now.
In a barbaric and preposterous statement, actor Kollam Thulasi said that women who try to enter Sabarimala should be ripped apart. He is also a member of the BJP and was their candidate in the 2015 Assembly polls.
"Women should be ripped apart; one half should be sent to Delhi and another to the Kerala Chief Minister," he said. He even went to the extent of saying that the four judges who delivered the judgment on Sabarimala are idiots.
“The mothers (elderly woman) taking part in the protest against the judgment should go to Sabarimala. Then those women should rip apart the ones who try to enter the temple," he said.
Thulasi's career in Malayalam movies was one that largely saw him donning the role of villain -- being misogynistic, if not raping women.
As Thulasi made these comments in his filmy style, the audience cheered him on. He was speaking at a rally by the Sabarimala Viswasa Samrekshana Jatha (rally to protect customs of Sabarimala) at Chavara in Kollam. BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai who is leading the rally and other BJP leaders were present at the rally when Thulasi made the declaration.
When we asked PS Sreedharan Pillai whether he endorsed Thulasi's comment, he said, "It is a mass protest, a lot people take part in it. Not all of them would inform us what they were going to speak and seek our consent. Thulasi is associated with an Ayyappa devotee group in Kollam and hence he spoke."
When we repeatedly asked if he was present at the rally, he first evaded the question, then said he was not willing to speak further.
The rally began on October 10 from Pandalam, known to be birth place of Lord Ayyappa, under National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP.
Earlier, Thulasi was in a controversy for supporting his colleague Dileep, an accused in the case of kidnap and rape of a female actor in February 2017.
After multiple visits to the jail in which Dileep had been lodged, Thulasi had slammed the media for its reporting. "Media has unnecessary intervened in the case. Is this such a big issue to be discuss in a television debate,?" he asked in Asianet New's News Hour.
Watch the video here.