About three weeks ago I posted an article about how the Supreme Court of India had decided that women of ages between 10 and 50, who are considered of menstruating age, should be allowed to visit the popular Sabarimala Temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala. With this decision, they lifted the Court lifted a ban that had been applied for centuries.
Today, the New York Times posted an update on this situation and I am sorry to inform you that lifting the ban did not turn out as planned. For example, after the lifting of the ban, protests bursted out around the Sabarimala Temple. On Wednesday the temple reopened for six days. This was for the first time since the decision of the Supreme Court. When the Temple reopened, the pilgrimage path leading to it, lost it’s peaceful atmosphere. This is, conflicts arose between police officers, who protected the women that wanted to visit the Temple, and the traditionalist that wanted to keep the women from visiting.
Since Wednesday, at least twelve women tried to make it to the Temple. In order to do so, they had to pass through a three-mile trail. However, none of them managed to reach the temple: protesters shouted them in the face, set vehicles on fire en blocked the pilgrimages path by lying down on it’s stones. Furthermore, the priest of the Sabarimala Temple threatened to lock the doors if the would reach the temple.
Next month, the temple’s peak season will start. During this event millions of pilgrims will reach the temple, which will make the conflicts on the trail an even bigger problem. However, the question is what the Supreme Court of India will do about it. What is known is that the Court has announced that it will here petitions next month challenging the ruling. What this means exactly hasn’t been made clear yet.