December 26, 2016
The Akhil Bharatiya Hanuman Sena, a fringe religious outfit attached to the Hindu Makkal Katchi, has petitioned District collector TN Hariharan to take necessary measures to prevent gender-equality activist Trupti Desai, the founder of Bhumata Brigade, and her supporters from entering the premises of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in January.
Trupti, a Pune-based activist, after her successful campaign for the entry of women into the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra, and the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai now to come to Kerala to campaign for the entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple.
Ramesh Madhavan, Tamil Nadu-Kerala Co-ordinator of the Hanuman Sena, in his petition submitted to the Collector said, “Trupti Desai has disturbed the hornets’ nest by her announcement for the planned temple entry in Sabarimala in January 2017. Such an act will only trigger unrest among pilgrims and it might also pave way for a riot-like situation. The District Collector should intervene and hold talks with the Kerala Government to prevent the activist’s entry to protect the safety of large number of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu.”
Though menstruating women in the age group of 10 to 50 years are forbidden from entering the Ayyappa temple precincts, gender-equality activists take exception to this age-old practice, saying that it is out of tune with the modern times. “Menstruation is a natural process and forbidding women’s entry into temples, and mosques on this flimsy ground is denying them a constitutional right,” said Trupti recently.