‘A dream realised’: Woman who offered prayers at Sabarimala

Two women below the age of 50 have said they offered prayers at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district.
Devotees are pictured at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala in Kerala on November 16.(AFP File Photo)
Devotees are pictured at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala in Kerala on November 16.(AFP File Photo)
Updated on Jan 02, 2019 05:33 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram | By Ramesh Babu

Three months after the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to worship at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, two women entered the hilltop shrine on Wednesday after dodging eyes of angry devotees.

One of them Bindhu Ammini, a 42-year-old guest lecturer from Kozhikode district, talked to the Hindustan Times and said both of them came as pilgrims, not activists. They have realised their dreams, she said.

Here are the excerpts:

How did you plan your trek to the hilltop dodging protesters?

We were observing a fast for more than a month and tried to offer prayers at the temple on December 24. But a section of protesters foiled our plan. The police advised us that if we came discreetly they will provide us with security. We were in touch by the Kottayam SP (superintendent of police). We arrived at the base camp of Pambha around midnight and started trekking to the temple. At least two-dozen police officers, all in mufti (plain clothes), accompanied us. We reached the hilltop at 3.45am. We spent a few minutes at the temple and came back after offering prayers. It was a dream come true story for us.

There are reports that you came in male attire.

That is not true. Of course, we were wearing loose clothes and covered our faces partially as asked by the police. It seems some of the devotees recognised us but they did not create any trouble. It clearly shows real devotees are not bothered about women entry. It seems some fringe elements are behind the violence, not devotees.

Hope you are aware of the repercussions?

Look, we did not do anything illegal. We have the support of the police and administration. We hope initial outbursts will settle after some time. Some quarters are dubbing us as Maoists but that is not true. We came as devotees and offered prayers. Since the floodgate is open now, we feel more women will offer prayers at the temple. It is our right. The highest court has given us the green signal. We are under police protection now. Since police advised us we can’t divulge our location or other details. We will disclose everything once the dust is settled.

Watch |

Read more| Protests after 2 women enter Sabarimala temple, shutdown call for tomorrow

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021