Vol. XLIII No. 01 January 06, 2019

History makes a giant stride, Women enter Sabarimala

NS Sajith

ON the intervening night of January 1, a few hours after a women’s wall organized across Kerala, two women, named Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga entered the Sabarimala temple at 3.45 am. They started their pilgrimage from Pamba at 1.30 am and reached Sannidhanam at 3.45 am, the sanctum sanctorum of Ayyappa temple under police escort in plain clothes.

These two names are marked in the history as the ‘first women’ in the age group of 15-50 years to enter Sabarimala, after the remarkable judgement of Supreme Court on September 28 that allowed the entry of women without any age restriction. From 8 am onwards on January 2, the news channels showed the visuals of Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga in black dress, entering to the Sannidhanam. These two women tried to enter Sabarimala on December 24 but they had returned when RSS goons deployed in Sabarimala staged a violent protest.

Bindu Ammini (44) is an activist and an assistant professor at Kannur University, while Kanakadurga (42) belongs to Malappuram, she is assistant manager in civil supplies corporation. Bindu and Kanakadurga said that, police gave them support to perform the pilgrimage. Some devotees have recognized them on their way from Pamba to Sannidhanam, but they did not stage protest. Anticipating violent protest of Sangh parivar goons, police force has been deployed near the houses of these two women.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed the entry of women in Sabarimala. “Earlier too women tried to enter Sabarimala on many occasions, but they were obstructed. Today there were no such hurdles. Police had already assured protection for those who wish to visit Sabarimala” he replied to the queries of media at Trivandrum Airport.