Sabarimala Protests: Are You a “True Devotee” If You Violently Keep Women Away?

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Sabarimala Protests: Are You a “True Devotee” If You Violently Keep Women Away?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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t’s been three days since Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple officially opened for women, following the landmark Supreme Court judgement that overturned the centuries-old tradition which denied entry to women between the ages of 10 and 50 years. Menstrual women offend Ayyappa, a sanyasi deity, believe his staunch devotees.

But much before this practice was declared invalid by the highest court in the country on grounds of gender discrimination and supported women’s freedom to worship, the Sabarimala rulebook raised a host of questions: If a woman does not attain menopause by 50, is she still allowed to go before Ayyappa? And if a menstruating woman enters the temple will Sabarimala and all of Kerala self-destruct?

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