BJP calls for protests after 2 women offer prayers at Sabarimala temple

Some 5 Million Indian Women Form Massive Human Chain for Gender Equality (PHOTO)

A '620km human chain' — Indian Women Rally for Equality

Two women braved a centuries-old ban on entering a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala on Wednesday, sparking protests by conservative Hindu groups outraged by their visit.

The "Women's Wall" rally was backed by the communist government in the state where a Superme Court order on Sabarimala temple has triggered weeks of protests.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the Kerala Chief Minister, has confirmed the news that the two showed interest in being there and that they were provided security by a few policemen.

The women devotees, Bindu and Kanakdurga, entered and offered prayers at 3.45 am, according to news agency ANI. In 2016, courts ruled in favor of a petition by women's rights group to enter the inner sanctum of a famous Muslim shrine in Mumbai. The ban on menstruating women entering the temple amounted to a form of "untouchability" and gender discrimination, she said.

After the formation of the protest, two women entered the temple for the first time following the lifting of the ban by the Supreme Court in September 2018. Bindu, 44, from Perinthalmanna and Kanaka Durga, 42, from Kannur, began their climb towards the abode of Lord Ayyappa at midnight and reached the shrine only after 3.45 am on Wednesday.

Federer relishing ‘once in a lifetime’ Serena clash
Gearing up for his Australian Open title defence, Federer overcame three break points in his opening service game before rediscovering his rhythm to race out to a 5-0 lead.

Two women entered the Sabarimala Temple in the early hours of the morning after the Women's Wall event.

Police with batons also charged at protesters who were trying to enforce a shutdown of shops in the area called for by the Sabarimala temple hierarchy.

Announcing the dawn-to-dusk shutdown on behalf of the Sabarimala Karma Samiti Samiti, its leader K P Sasikala said the government has betrayed devotees.

Legend says that the goddess Malikapurathamma asked Ayyappa to marry her.

Last year, violent protests broken out in the state after India's top court in September ordered the authorities to void the ban on women or girls of menstruating age - between 10 and 50 - from entering the temple, which draws millions of worshippers a year. Kerala government was in urgency to implement the Supreme Court's order and were adamant to send women inside the temple. He pointed to other Hindu temples and ceremonies where men are not allowed to attend.

New Horizons Spacecraft Closing In On Ultima Thule
Seven instruments on board will record high-resolution images and gather data about its size and composition. Ultima Thule (officially 2014 MU69) is believed to be a pristine remnant of the birth of the solar system.

But India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has argued that the court ruling is an attack on Hindu values.

Nestled atop a steep mountain amid a lush green tiger reserve, it's the site of one of the world's largest annual pilgrimages, with millions of Hindu devotees making the journey each year.

The BJP is not in power in Kerala.

Congress is the main opposition party in the state, which is run by a coalition of left-wing parties. Police arrested more than 2,000 people in October for rioting and unlawful assembly.

Djokovic claims 4th Mubadala title
Novak Djokovic won 2-1 in the final against Kevin Anderson of South Africa and claimed the title of the event. Had a few in-roads in his serve game, but couldn't afford to lose my serve games, added the South African.

Latest News