Kerala : The handbook of Home Ministry, LDF-led Government of Kerala, issued for the police force on duty in Sabarimala says, as per the item no: 1, that all pilgrims should be permitted to visit Sabarimala. It quotes (picture attached) the Hon. Supreme Court’s 28/9/2018 WP(C) 373/2016 Verdict. It reads, “all pilgrims are permitted to enter the shrine”. The state government’s handbook obviously refers to permission to young women to enter the temple. Handbook clearly says, all are permitted in the light of 28.9.2018 verdict. Book provides various other information also like how the police is expected to behave, peculiarities of duty points, Pooja time, places in Sannidhanam (temple premises) and so on. But, the first item is women entry.
Even though it was a confidential (and secret) communication it was somehow leaked and pro-Hindu Janam TV telecast it this morning (November 17, 2022). Immediately BJP president K. Surendran said that they, BJP and pro-Hindu organisations, have not forgotten what GoK had done in 2018. In 2018, the CPM Govt and Pinarayi Vijayan had tried their level best to bring young women to shrine defying the pilgrims resistance. Consequently Hindu women, irrespective of political affiliations, carried out prayer marches throughout the state, various states in the country and even abroad.
In several places, such prayer yatras were attacked by CPM goons. One pilgrim was even killed in one of those attacks. But, before the post mortem was over, Pinarayi Vijayan diagnosed that he died of heart attack !
According to Sabairmala tradition, women between the age of 10 and 50 are not permitted to enter the shrine. But, during 2018 pilgrimage season, the Left government tried to facilitate young women’s temple entry with police security. But, the pilgrims resisted it with prayers. At last two young women, who were allegedly controversial, were taken by police through the rear entrance of the temple during the wee hours of 1st January, 2019. BJP leader K. Surendran was arrested while he was on the way to Sabarimala with all traditional paraphernalia and jailed for several weeks. Thousands of cases were registered against thousands of members and top leaders of the believers’ resistance movement.
Hundreds were arrested. Several people were suspended from their jobs. Hundreds were injured in police attacks. There was allegation that workers of DYFI, youth wing of CPM, were deployed in police uniforms to attack the protesting believers.
Hindu Aikyavedi presdident Smt. Sasikala Teacher was threatened by the police inside a bus while travelling to Sabarimala.
The state government spent Rs 50 crores to organise “Women’s Wall” from the northern end to the southern tip of the state to propagate ‘renaissance’ meaning young women’s Sabarimala entry for violating the traditions there. But it was an utter failure. “Wall” was broken at thousands points. The same time the Deepa Prajwalanam organised by Sabarimala Protection Council was a tremendous success. Believers lined up from northern Kasaragod to southern Kaliyikkavila (two ends of the state), with no break at all. In several places people, with Deepa in hand, congregated in two lines. They spent from own pockets to make it a grand programme. It was a befitting reply to the futile attempt of GoK to organise Renaissance Wall of Women spending Rs 50 crores, that is, tax payers’ money. And, GoK withdrew from their evil design.
This time both Surendran and Hindu Aikyavedi president Smt. Sasikala Teacher made it clear that Hindus would not allow the LDF regime to repeat the 2018 drama. Consequently Dewaswom Minister and CPM leader K. Radhakrishnan told the media that handbook was a routine one and no idea to upset the temple tradition.
CPM now realizes that Hindu organisations enjoy deep influence in the community hence they disown the clause in the handbook regarding young women’s temple entry.