Malayalam movie actor Kollam Thulasi on Friday said that women who enter the Sabarimala temple should be “torn into two pieces”. He was speaking at an event in Kollam where he shared the stage with BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai. He urged the people to chant Ayyappa keerthanams loud enough to “rupture the eardrum of Vijayan” (chief minister). “Also, the idiots in the Supreme Court should hear the chanting,” he said.
Thulasi, who is a BJP member and the party’s candidate from Kundra in Kollam during the 2016 assembly elections, issued the threat at a ‘Save Sabarimala’ campaign organised by constituents of BJP-led NDA, such as Bharath Dharma Jena Sena, to protest against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages entry into Sabarimala.
He told the crowd at the event: “You mothers should go to Sabarimala. Because some women will come there. They should be torn into two pieces. One portion should be thrown to Delhi and another to the room of the chief minister. I know, you are not going… because you are all educated and sensible… Ayyappan has started working.. the mind of Devaswom minister has started changing.’’
With Sabarimala temple slated to open next week for the monthly ritual, the event was one of the many organised by temple stakeholders and BJP-led agitators as part of their campaign to prevent the entry of women. The erstwhile royal family of Pandalam, which owned the temple before Travancore Devaswom Board took over, said the faithful would block the entry of women to the hill shrine.
“Our agitation is not backed by any political party or organisation. However, we are getting support from the faithful. Women will not be allowed to go to the shrine. They would be blocked at all roads leading to the hill shrine. The protest is not limited to any region. Even outside Kerala, there is strong resentment against implementing the SC verdict,’’ said royal family member R R Varma.
The ruling LDF, which had promised the court to not challenge its order, has decided to launch a counter-campaign against the protest by the Hindu organisations. LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan said it would organise gatherings at panchayats to drive home the point that it is the state government’s responsibility to implement the apex court order.
Devaswom Board Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that the devotees are now getting convinced about the government’s stand. “They have realised that the BJP and the RSS are trying to exploit the verdict for communal agenda,’’ he said.
The minister also countered the Sangh Parivar allegation that the government is pocketing the wealth of temples. He said the government spent Rs 70 crore for the development of various temples, including Sabarimala, in the last fiscal. This year, development activities costing Rs 200 crore are already underway, he said.