Mumbai women to form a human chain in solidarity with women in Kerala
The Women Wall Formation Committee from Mumbai has announced that it will form a human chain on 1st of January. This is to extend and show support to the women in Kerala who are said to be creating a chain of their own, as a symbol of unity on the Sabarimala issue.
“So, in support of them, we will organize a ‘Woman Chain’..”, a member of the committee was quoted as saying.
Update – 25th December, 2018
Sabarimala Two women return to base camp as protestors block their path
Two women have returned to the base camp after protestors prevented them from reaching Sabarimala temple. The women, who were aged below 50, returned to Pamba, the base camp. Though the women, were escorted by the police; however, they had asked for more police personnel as the protestors blocked their path and surrounded them. Bindu, who is one of the two women, had said that they would not turn back even if the protestors attack them. On Sunday, 11 women had aborted their attempt to go to Sabarimala following a clash between the protestors and the police.
Update – 26th November, 2018
Devotees tense about restrictions imposed at Sabarimala temple
Devotees of Lord Ayyappa from the state of Tamil Nadu are tense about the restrictions imposed following a Supreme Court order permitting women of all ages to enter the premises of the Sabarimala temple. Every year thousands of these devotees trek to the temple, which is situated in the state of Kerala, to seek the blessings of Lord Ayyappa. Many of the devotees who have either visited the temple after the verdict of the Supreme Court have stated that they had to book darshan time, which was not the case earlier.
Update – 14th November, 2018
Supreme Court to hear review petitions in January, no bar on women’s entry till then
A five-judge bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi has fixed January 22 as the date for hearing the pleas against its verdict on Sabarimala temple. Much to the dismay of protesters, the bench refused to stay the verdict. Meaning, till January, there will be no restriction on women of any age entering the temple.The Supreme Court has also given the temple board a week’s time to give an explanation for the violence that erupted at the temple. Famous Pune-based women activist, Trupati Desai has declared that she will offer her prayers at the temple on November 17, the day it is scheduled to reopen.
Update – 5th November, 2018
Sabarimala Temple to open today
The Sabarimala shrine, which witnessed violence incidents last month as protestors prevented women from entering the temple, will open at 5 pm today. This is the second time that the temple is opening after the Supreme Court passed an which allowed women to enter the shrine. Authorities have taken steps to prevent any untoward incident from taking place such as putting up a massive security arrangement. Around 2,300 security personnel have been deployed including 100 women and a 20-member commando team. The temple will close at 10 pm tomorrow.
Update – 29th October, 2018
BJP President Amit Shah stirs up controversies over Sabarimala; opposition fires back
A day prior to BJP announcing its Rath Yatra to ‘save’ Sabarimala, the party President stirred up a new set of controversies on the issue.”I want to tell governments and courts, ‘give orders that can be implemented’. They should not give orders that work to break the faith of the people”, said Shah, pledging the party’s “rock-solid” support to devotees. He also targeted the state’s left government, saying that “Kerala now experiences an Emergency-like situation”, accusing the state of “trying to turn Kerala into a battlefield”.Kerala CM on Sunday, slammed Shah for the remarks, declaring the latter’s words as “an undemocratic stand”.
Update – 28th October, 2018
BJP Plans to stage a Rath Yatra to save Sabarimala Temple
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Kerala chief stated that the party is planning to a conduct a Rath Yatra to save Sabarimala. The Rath Yatra will be staged from November 8 to 13. The Yatra is planned in a way that it starts from Kasaragod Madhur temple premises and concludes in Pathanamthitta. Meanwhile, Malikappuram chief priest Aneesh Namboodiri has received a death threat through an anonymous letter. An FIR has been lodged.
The Sabarimala issue seems to intensify further with tribes and Dalits joining the fray seeking rights over the hill shrine and its resources. A coordination committee of various tribal and Dalit organisation will soon kick-start a campaign to re-affirm their rights over the Sabarimala temple and the adjoining forests. The first meeting of the committee to decide on the future course of action will be held in Kottayam on Sunday.
According to the leader of Dalit-Adivasi Joint Action Council, the objective is to come up with a plan of action to re-assert the legal rights of tribal communities over the Sabarimala shrine and adjacent forests. The tribals also are demanding the restoration of the tribal rituals at Sabarimala and its related temples, ending the predominance of Brahmins and ensuring the community forest rights of tribals in and around the Sabarimala forests.
Update – 27th October, 2018
Ashram of Swami Sandeepananda Giri, who supported Sabarimala verdict, attacked
Ashram of Swami Sandeepananda Giri, who supported Sabarimala verdict, was attacked by unidentified men. They set ablaze two cars and a scooter parked in the compound of Swami Sandeepananda Giri’s ashram located in Kundamankadavu in Thiruvananthapuram.
Update – 26th October, 2018
452 cases registered in the Sabarimala row; more than 2000 arrested
Following the Kerala CM’s meeting with police officials over the Sabarimala temple issue, the police force has sprung into action.
In a crackdown against the protestors who prevented women devotees from entering the temple, more than 2000 people have been arrested over a span of just two days. Moreover, the state government has decided to deploy additional 5000 police personnel during Mandalam-Makaravillaku season, starting November 16.
Update – 25th October, 2018
Kerala Police files cases against 2000 people for destroying property
The Kerala police filed a case against nearly 2000 people who were involved in violence over Sabarimala row after the order was passed by supreme court. The mob was involved in destroying KSRTC buses, police vehicles and manhandling journalists.
KSRTC, the state road transport corporation, has launched a facility for the devotees to keep their personal belongings in safe custody during the Mandalam and Makaravilakku season. The cloakroom will be set up at Pampa-Nilakkal bus station. KSRTC plans to charge fees for this service.
Update – 24th October, 2018
TDB not to file a report regarding the Sabarimala temple
With the Supreme Court fixing November 13 as the date for hearing petitions against the Sabarimala verdict, a new statement has emerged from the Travancore Devaswom Board. The board, responsible for managing Lord Ayyappa temple, had earlier said it would file a report, given the tense condition of the Sabarimala temple.
“There is no relevance of a review petition by the TDB now”, a member was quoted as saying. The annual Mandala pilgrimage season at Sabarimala will begin on November 16.
Update – 22nd October, 2018
Sabarimala temple to close on Monday night
Sabarimala, after performing the five-day Puja, will close on Monday (22nd October) night at 10 PM. The temple had opened on October 18 following a Supreme Court landmark verdict that allowed women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter the premises. In these days, 9 women in the menstruating age groups have tried to enter the temple’s premises, but their attempts have been thwarted by the protestors. In the most recent case, a 47-year-old woman, who was surrounded and heckled by protestors, suffered a panic attack. The police have asked journalists to leave as there have been instances of attacks on the media.
Update – 21st October, 2018
Nine-year-old girl supports ban on women entering Sabarimala
A nine-year-old girl has gained attention at the Sabarimala temple. The girl is campaigning at the shrine for the continuation of the age restriction for women between the age of 10 and 50 years. The girl held a placard, which read, “I am 9 years old. This is my 3rd visit to Sabarimala. I will come only after 41 years (2058)”. The girl has been identified as V Padmapoorani, who is studying in a school in Chennai. This is her third pilgrimage to the temple. Meanwhile, a number of women were stopped from entering the temple.
Update – 19th October, 2018
Two women 500 meters away from Sabarimala temple return back
The situation in Kerala continues to be tense as protestors are still blocking the way of women devotees heading to the Sabarimala temple. In the latest developments of Sabarimala Temple issue, two women which included a devotee and a journalist were on the brink of creating history by becoming the first women to enter temple but decided otherwise. The women were just 500 meters away from the temple but dropped the idea and returned back in heavy police protection. One woman was wearing riot gear while the other was dressed in traditional attire but wearing a helmet. Lord Ayyappa temple’s chief priest had stated that in case the two women were successful in entering the temple, he would shut the shrine and walk out with the keys. Meanwhile, to find an amicable solution to the issue, the Travancore Devaswom Board will meet today.
Update – 18th October, 2018
The atmosphere of Sabarimala Temple continues to be tensed
With the shrine doors opening for the first time post the SC verdict on Wednesday, there still seems to be no end to the violence and protests that have erupted. The “devotees” stand armed near the temple gates, barring any woman from entering. Some activists of Sangh Parivar unleashed violence across the city of Malappuram, launching a hartal. In the ensuing violence, two KSRTC buses have been burned down. Given this increasing tension, Section 144 has been imposed in the areas- Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nillakkal, and Ilavunkal. The supreme priest of Sabarimala temple, Kandaru Rajeevaru has denied the rumors that the family intends to close down the temple if young women enter inside. He has, however, urged the women belonging to the traditionally barred age of 10-50 to not come to the shrine. According to the head priest, the monthly pooja and other rituals will be conducted as usual.
Sabarimala Temple – The Issue continues to rock the state
The opening of the Sabarimala temple to women devotees was marred by violence and protests. However, women were not able to enter the temple as the protestors had barred their entry. Since the SC announced its verdict allowing women the right to enter the temple, tensions have prevailed in the state. Meanwhile, the streets witnessed clashes between the devotees and the police.
Even women journalists were barred from entering the temple. The journalists were heckled and their vehicles damaged. The latest to witnesses the ire of the protestors was Suhasini Raj, a journalist working with the New York Times. Suhasini was on her way to the temple to report a story for her newspaper; however, was forced to retreat by the crowds.
Before the Supreme Court verdict, women between the age of 10 and 50 were banned from entering the temple.
Location of Sabarimala Temple