October 17, 2018
Kerala is tense over the Sabarimala temple entry issue with state government determined to implement the Supreme Court order allowing women to enter the holy shrine that had barred women from entering the sanctum sanctorum. It is considered that the presiding deity Lord Ayyappa is a celibate and hence the entry of women between ages of 10 years and 50 years is banned and the practice has gone for several centuries, locals claim.
But on Wednesday, there was tension all across Kerala and more so at Nilakkal near the temple located at Pathanamthtta district of Kerala as also at the base camp of Pamba where several activist protesters, up in arms over SC verdict, were taken into custody.
Kerala government has declared that it will not tolerate anyone from preventing the implementation of the Supreme Court order. Thousands of women devotees have been protesting the SC order and threatened to commit suicide if the women gain entry into the temple.
What began as individual protests by devotees soon acquired a political colour with the BJP jumping in to milk the issue. The Congress too entered the fray in a competitive vote bank politics to ensure that the BJP does not walk away with Hindu votes in forthcoming general elections to Lok Sabha.
The BJP hopes to gain immensely from this emotional religious issue and is doing its best to cash in on the peoples’ sentiments across the state.
It hopes to make a dent in Kerala and possibly win its first Lok Sabha seat on the strength of the Hindu devotees and which is why the BJP is aggressively picking up the issue. In the last general elections, it was the Congress led UPA that won 12 out of the 20 seats Kerala has to offer.
Though general elections are a good 8 months away, the BJP will try its best to keep the issue simmering so as to milk it to the maximum, adding it to its overall Hindutva agenda.
But the Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan appeared determined to thwart the BJP designs and ordered the police to be extra vigilant and take tough actions to prevent protesters from physically harming any women wanting to enter the temple as per the SC orders.