The pilgrimage of two Kerala-based women at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala has caused an uproar on social media. In fact, #SaveSabarimala became the top trending hashtag on Indian twitter on Wednesday after a video of the women, dressed in black clothes and entering the shrine, first surfaced on the microblogging site.
By entering the holy shrine, Bindu and Kanakadurga became the first female pilgrims of menstruating age to have entered Sabarimala after the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict last year. The women had last year also attempted to trek to Sannidhanam, but were forced to return due to protests.
Their entry comes a day after an estimated 50 lakh women lined the streets of the southern state from Kasargod to Vellayambalam on Tuesday to push for gender justice, with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan calling it a collective voice of dissent against those opposing the Sabarimala verdict.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Kanakadurga said they completed their pilgrimage without police protection and were not met by any protesting devotees, who have foiled similar attempts by women in the past.
While there's no denying the hatred, a section of Twitter users lauded both the women for their bravery and creating history.
"What an incredible moment in the history of India. Women under 50 enter for the first time in #Sabarimala One small step for women, giant leap for gender equality! Feminists rejoice. What a day. What a year. What a moment to be alive. #Feminism #WomensWall," a user tweeted.
2019 begins with double cheer in the history of Kerala's progressive movements. When #WomensWall built up on the west of the State, it's entry of women to Sabarimala in the East. We prove the fact right: that"we never stuck in a mobilizing polity, but going forward" #Sabarimala
— T Sudheesh (@sudheeshdc) January 2, 2019
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) January 2, 2019
What an incredible moment in the history of India. Women under 50 enter for the first time in #Sabarimala One small step for women, giant leap for gender equality! Feminists rejoice. What a day. What a year. What a moment to be alive. #Feminism #WomensWall pic.twitter.com/vQSFVYenNj
— Priyanka (@autumnrainwish) January 2, 2019
Kanakadurga from Malappuram and Bindu from Kozhikode, create history by being the first women aged under 50 yrs to have darshan at #Sabarimala ever since the SC pronounced it's landmark verdict allowing entry to the Sree Dharma Sastha Temple to women of all age groups #Kerala
— S Anandan (@Anandans76) January 2, 2019
History has been made. Regressive religious customs smashed. That is how societies progress, when they overcome dogmas. #Sabarimala
— Sarthak Dhama (@sarthak_dhama) January 2, 2019
What an unforgettable moment for Indian women--the first two young women to enter the Sabarimala Temple.. watching the visuals of them making their way into the shrine makes me cry in joy-- how long it has taken for us to claim space, to write our way into history.
— meena kandasamy (@meenakandasamy) January 2, 2019
With women entering #Sabarimala, people have the choice to support what is progressive and good for society. Be on the right side of history, guys. Do what will benefit all.
— LucknawiRooh (@LucknawiRooh) January 2, 2019
After the Great Women's Wall of Resistance against Patriarchy, Hate & Misogyny!
The Great Walk to Sabarimala by two Women! Well Women are making history, writing their own!
Salute to their indomitable spirit & fight for equality, justice & against regressive cultural practices! pic.twitter.com/Vrfw68X6lF
— N Sai Balaji (@nsaibalaji) January 2, 2019
History Created as 2 Women enter Sabarimala . Their effort and bravery despite all protests and strifes is commendable.
— Anand ଆନନ୍ଦ (@TheCrazy_Freak) January 2, 2019
June 16, 1963 : Women entered in space
January 2, 2019 : Women on Sabarimala.
They were not makers of history. They were made by history. pic.twitter.com/wyRT3rHxjX
— Jain (@jainszg) January 2, 2019
Greatest day in the history of india.
Two women entered the sabarimala shrine.
Sabarimala is for all now...
Good start for the year 2019.
— Manjunath R (@ManjunathTahir) January 2, 2019
Meanwhile, the Sabarimala head priest, Kandaru Rajeevaru, has ordered to shut the temple till 12 pm for "purification" after the reports of women's entry into the temple were confirmed.