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I Have No Fear, Says Woman Who Rewrote History by Entering Sabarimala

The 42-year-old college lecturer created history on January 2 by becoming the first woman of menstruating age to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple after the Supreme Court overturned a centuries-old traditional ban last year.

News18.com

Updated:January 5, 2019, 5:47 PM IST
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I Have No Fear, Says Woman Who Rewrote History by Entering Sabarimala
Bindhu says she is not afraid and that her entry into the Lord Ayyappa shrine was her contributions towards gender justice.

Thiruvananthapuram: It was one small step for Bindhu, but one giant leap for womankind.

The 42-year-old college lecturer created history on January 2 by becoming the first woman of menstruating age to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple after the Supreme Court overturned a centuries-old traditional ban last year.

Following the feat, Bindhu and 44-year-old Kanakadurga came under attack from Right-wing groups and protesters. Police had to be deployed in front of their homes to keep violent protesters at bay.

But Bindhu says she is not afraid. Speaking to News18, she says her entry into the Lord Ayyappa shrine was her contributions towards gender justice.

“I stand with gender equality and this is why I entered the Sabarimala temple. It’s my contribution to gender justice. When we attempted to reach the temple for the first time in December, the police advised us to leave. But this time, they fully supported us,” Bindhu said.

Asked about the violent demonstrations by Right-wing groups, Bindhu defiantly said, “I have no future, I have no fear.”

The two dauntless women had stepped into the hallowed precincts guarded by police three months after the Supreme Court's historic judgment lifting the ban on entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, its "eternally celibate" deity.

The duo had entered the temple at 3:38 am, a day after over 35 lakh women stood shoulder-to-shoulder across the national highways in Kerala, creating a 620 km-long human 'wall' from the northern end of Kasaragod to the southern tip in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the state-sponsored initiative to uphold gender equality.

As the news spread like wildfire from the hill shrine, protests erupted at several places, with Hindu right-wing activists blocking highways and forcing closure of shops and markets. The ruling CPI(M)'s offices were vandalised at several places causing tension.

People from media were also attacked by BJP activists in front of the secretariat, officials said.

Sabarimala Karma Samithi, an umbrella organisation of various pro-Hindutva groups, spearheading protests against the Supreme Court's September 28 verdict, and Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP), held a state-wide shutdown, while the Congress-led UDF observed a "black day".

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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