Ahead of the opening of Sabarimala temple tomorrow, Hindu outfits protesting against the entry of women of menstrual age to the holy shrine have urged media houses not to send young women journalists to cover the event.
The Sabarimala temple is opening for a day on Monday, for the second time since the Supreme Court overturned a centuries-old order barring women of age 10-50 from entering the temple. The first time the temple opened after the order- from October 17 to October 22- no woman was able to successfully enter the temple despite security cover. Women journalists covering the protests were also attacked. Protesters are seeking a review of the September 28 order, allowing women of menstrual age to enter into the temple, as the presiding deity Lord Ayyapa is considered a celibate.
— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2018
In a letter sent to editors, the Sabarimala Karma Samiti, a joint platform of right-wing outfits, including the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Hindu Aikyavedi Sunday said even the entry of women journalists belonging to this age group as part of their job was also likely to aggravate the situation.
“Recognising your right to support or oppose the devotees stand on this issue, we hope you will not take a stand which would aggravate the situation,” PTI quoted the letter.
The doors of the temple will be opened Monday evening for puja on the occasion of “Chithira Aattavisesham” on Tuesday, the birthday of the last King of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma. The temple will be closed at 10 pm on Tuesday but would reopen for darshan from November 17 for the three-month-long annual pilgrim season.
The samiti said devotees belonging to all denominations in Kerala and other parts of the country and even abroad were on a path of ‘unabated’ agitation subsequent to the apex court judgement allowing entry to young women at the Sabarimala Temple against the wish of the large majority of devotees.
The police are on high alert and tight security arrangements are in place in the backdrop of violent protests over the entry of women of menstrual age last month.