The voices against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala is growing louder with each passing day. Ever since the verdict was passed on September 28, thousands of devotees from various Hindu organisations like the Nair Service Society (NSS), have taken to the streets to mark their protest against the verdict.
On Sunday, Kerala was witness to many such protest marches across various districts like Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had also declared a hartal in Pathanamthitta district, where the temple is situated, on Sunday.
The protest marches in these districts, which were lead by various Hindu organisations, witnessed the participation of hundreds of women.
In Kottayam district, the protest march was held in Thirunakkara; in Ernakulam, the march was in Tripunithura; In Alappuzha, it was held in Ambalapuzha and in Thrissur district, the protests were in Swaraj Round.
In Thiruvananthapuram, BJP activists organised a protest march to the office of Kadakampally Surendran, the Tourism and Devaswom minister of Kerala. The march was spearheaded by the BJP state president, PS Sreedharan Pillai.
During these marches, the devotees shouted prayers to Lord Ayyappa and many of them had proclaimed that they are willing to go to any extent to safeguard the beliefs of the religion and the temple.
On Saturday, thousands of women participated in the ‘Namajapa Ghoshayathra’, in Changanassery under the leadership of the NSS as a show of protest against the Supreme Court verdict.
The rally, which began around 3.30 pm from the Vezhakkattu Sree Krishna Swamy Temple in Mathumoola, ended at the Mannam Junction at Perunna near the NSS headquarters around 5 pm. Also present at the rally were members of the Thanthri family and the Pandalam royal family.
The NSS, an influential society in Kerala, had on October 4 said that it would file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple.
Ending a decade-long battle, the Supreme Court on September 28, in a landmark judgement, lifted the ban on the entry of women into the famous Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The court observed that discrimination of the basis of physiological and biological factors can't be given legitimacy, meaning women and men are equal.
In a majority verdict, the five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that Article 25, the Right to practice religion, is applicable to both men and women.