A photo triggered Sabarimala debate

A photo triggered Sabarimala debate

A usual visit to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala by freelance photographer A P Joy began the debate when he took a photo of the woman executive officer of the Travancore Devasworm Board in August 1990.

A report by the Times of India says that Joy took a photo of Chandrika, who was at the temple for the rice-feeding ceremony of her granddaughter along with her 22-year-old daughter, which sparked the debate.

According to Joy, the officer approached him after she saw the photo being taken and asked him not to trouble her. "She wanted me to not give the photo to newspapers, but I said that was impossible," said Joy, who was later approached by a person with Rs 50,000 in a guest house. 

But Joy distributed the photo to 15 newspapers, and this led to a person knocking the doors of the judiciary.

The rest is history, as a lengthy court battle proceeded, ending with the ban on women in Sabarimala being revoked and the doors of the temple being opened for the women of India.

ALSO READ: Sabarimala: a big win for women  


Sajith Kumar / Outlook