'Advocating women's entry at Sabarimala non-believers'

'Advocating women's entry at Sabarimala non-believers'

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, lending its support to those protesting against the entry of women of menstruating age at Sabarimala temple after Supreme Court allowed it, projected the temple tradition of barring women as Constitutional.

In a statement, the VHP also alleged the “record of CPI-M has been doubtful in protecting women's rights” and declared that “anybody seeking entry (into temple) from the Supreme Court is not a believer.”

“Now, even those kind of women are coming out, who threaten to enter the temple with their male friends and have sexual relation before God and talk of opening a condom shop there,” VHP alleged.

The allegation came days after Travancore Dewaswom Board (TDB) former president Prayar Gopalakrishnan kicked up a storm last week with his remarks that allowing women inside the temple will lead to “immoral activities” and turn the place into a “spot for sex tourism like Thailand”. 

Batting strongly for continuing the ban on women of menstruating age entering the temple of Lord Ayyappa, the VHP said, “Senior seers say this tradition of Sabarimala does not insult or hurt anybody. Rather it is totally as per Article 25 of the Constitution that guarantees the freedom to follow any religion and propagate it. This movement against allowing women to enter Sabarimala is hence “to protect the spirit of Constitution”.

Condemning the police action against those protesting the entry of women, the VHP called it “anti-Hindu conspiracy” and blamed the agitation in Sabarimala on “CPI-M government and some so-called human rights activists with Hindu phobia”. It also asked why they don’t raise the demand for women's entry into mosques. The VHP asked the state government to file a review petition against the SC order.

While BJP is spearheading the agitation against the entry of women in Sabarimala temple, RSS which had in the past backed the demand for women's entry revisited its stand and came out with a statement on October 3 pitching for  “availing judicial options" to address the issue.

BJP is making a serious bid to expand its political footprint in the last Left citadel Kerala, where politics so far has been bi-polar between Congress-led United Democratic Front and Left Democratic Front. In 2016 Kerala Assembly polls, BJP had won one seat out of the 140 seats, its first victory in Kerala since Jan Sangh days. However, it got a substantial 10.6 % votes, the third largest vote share after CPI-M and Congress.

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had got 10.3 % votes, almost 4 % more than the 6.6 % votes that it had got in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

BJP eyeing Kerala

In October 2017, BJP chief Amit Shah had launched a fortnight-long 'Janaraksha Yatra" in Kerala from Payyannur in the northern district of Kannur, and attempted to paint the LDF government in the state as anti-Hindu and pro-Jehadi. The party treats Kerala as a catchment area after wresting Tripura from Left and making some impact in West Bengal, a state which had been ruled by Left for 34 years till Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress decimated it in 2011. BJP is emerging a force in urban areas in West Bengal as well, and is seeking to portray Mamata as pro-Muslim.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox