Sabarimala women entry; Hindutva organisations calls for hartal in Kerala

Various Hindu organisations will observe a hartal in Kerala on July 30 (Monday) demanding that the state government rectify its stance in the Supreme Court favouring entry of women of all age groups at the hill shrine of Sabarimala.

The organisations threatened to stop the women at Pamba, the base camp of the pilgrims, if they dare to trek the Sabarimala hills to enter the temple in case of a favourable verdict from the apex court.

Representatives of Ayyappa Dharma Sena, Visala Viswakrma Aikyavedi, Sri Ram Sena and Hanuman Sena Bharat announced the decisions at a press meet here.

The hearing in the controversial issue of whether women of menstrual age group should be allowed to enter the temple or not has been on in the apex court for the past few days. The Kerala government led by the CPM has favoured allowing women to enter the temple on account of gender equality as mentioned in the Constitution. Those who oppose the demand cite the customs and traditions of the temple which bar entry of women in the age group of 10-50 citing the belief that the main deity of the temple , Lord Ayyapa, has taken a vow of celibacy.

A section of women had last year came out with a campaign saying they were ready to wait until menopause to visit the temple as they respect the beliefs and customs of the temple.

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