Violence returned to Sabarimala early on Wednesday after two women who tried to enter the temple were stopped by a massive group of protestiors . The women were later escorted back to the base camp by the police. The two women were part of a nine member group who claimed they had observed the 41 day penance and vowed not to return until they had darshan of Lord Ayappa.
About a dozen women have entered the temple, all of them this year though the Supreme Court had ruled as early AS September last year that women of all ages could enter the temple. But protestors and the faithful have ensured no women entered the temple until January 1 this year, when under the cover of darkness and the behind the veil of a women’s wall, the state’s Marxist government and its police escorted two women right into the sanctum sanctorum.
A five member bench of the Suporemne Court was to begin hearings on January 22 on 49 review petitions challennging the Sep 28 order, but these have now been put off as Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone dissent voice in that 4-1 majority verdict is unwell and has taken medical leave/.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on the left government in Kerala and the government in Kerala and the Congress-led UDF opposition over the entry of women into the temple. The PM Wjho was on a day’s visit to Kerala both fronts were two sides of the same coin. Modi tore into the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government and said its conduct in the Sabarimala issue will go down as one of the “most shameful behaviours” by any party and government.
“We know that the communists do not respect the Indian history, culture and spirituality but nobody imagined they would have such hatred,” he said.
Slamming the “multiple stand” taken by the Congress and the party-led opposition front UDF in the state, he urged them to clear their stand on the issue.
“The UDF is no better. The Congress has multiple stands. They say one thing in Parliament but a different thing here. where the Lord Ayyappa shrine is located). They say one thing on Monday and a different thing on another day,” he said.
“I challenge the UDF, clearly state your stand on the issue. Your doublespeak has been exposed,” Modi said, lashing out at his party’s national arch rival. The BJP’s stand on this issue has ‘always’ been clear, he said.
“The actions of our party match our words. If there is one party that has been at the forefront of standing with Kerala and its culture, it is BJP,” Modi said.
–India Legal Bureau