Women Finally Allowed to Enter Holiest Temple in India

Posted on January 31, 2019 by

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On 2 January 2019, two individuals made history for women in India. In Kerala, India, two women entered one of the holiest temples in all of India just after a ban on women was removed. Although this was a big step towards equality, many people were not happy.

Over the years, women have struggled to achieve equal opportunities and rights. Even with laws supporting women, obtaining equality has been a fight.

The Sabarimala temple, located in Kerala, had a ban on women of menstruating age placed on it for decades. In September of 2018, the court ruled it unfair to continue this law. After the ruling, many people were divided on the idea.

Ever since the ban was lifted, many women attempted to enter the holy temple but were turned away by protesters standing around. The two women who finally entered were a university professor named Bindu A. and a government worker.

The women’s entry prompted riots that broke out between the opposing sides. The priest of the temple even closed down the sanctuary for a “purification ritual.” This historical event did not just impact those in Kerala; when word got, out riots began in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, as well.

The whole ruling also acted as a test for the Indian government. Many riots and protests occurred, and the government was in a place to decide how to handle it.  They put themselves in a difficult position, being pinned against women’s rights and century-long traditions.  

For the brave women who entered the temple, it was not just about the holy place; it was a fight for their rights.

“We are proud of these women who helped to implement the supreme court verdict. We broke the inequality being carried out in the name of God for all these years.” Prasad Amore, a psychologist who was in the temple with the women, said.

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Posted in: Jessica Carlin