On 1st January, Kerala’s women made history by organizing a 620 km long human chain to counter the effort of a right-wing man protesting women from entering the holy temple of Sabarimala.
On 28th September, Supreme Court of India allowed women to enter the Sabarimala temple which was previously banned for women of menstruating age that is from age of 10 to 50 were banned from visiting the temple of the lord of growth. Usually, women are allowed to enter the Hindu temple after their menstruation cycle is over but in Sabarimala temple, women are barred from even setting their foot if they are of menstruating age
Lord Ayyappa practiced celibacy hence women of menstruating age should not be allowed was the common argument made by the angry Hindu traditionalists.
Prime Minister Modi commented in support of BJP supporters of banning women from the temple saying that the matter was about religious belief and not gender equality.
Two brave women Bindu and Kanaka Durga after 3 months of Supreme Court lifting the ban with help of 100 policemen tried to enter the temple but were met upon by Hindu protestors who did not let them in.
This led to 50,000 women gathering together and forming a human chain or “Vanithi Mathila” to stand up for gender equality. It was 15-minute peaceful protest. Schools were given half day and even colleges were kept shut. 13,000 police officers were deployed at the site for the safety of the women.
Here is what Twitter has to say about this historical moment :
Something Beautiful is happening in Kerala right now. You're witnessing history. Women standing in solidarity with each other fighting for our rights. Should happen in all states. 2019 is lit. #WomensWall #Respect
— Priyanka (@autumnrainwish) January 1, 2019
#Sabarimala closed for purification? Is this Kerala or some place in cow land? Women are new Dalits? Bindu and Kanakadurga only followed the SC ruling. #RemoveSabarimalaThantri for misogyny and serious contempt of court.
— N.S. Madhavan این. ایس. مادھون (@NSMlive) January 2, 2019
Media pl get facts right – Women have entered #Sabarimala for the first time SINCE 1991, when a Court order prohibited women's entry. SC order lifted court-imposed ban on women's entry. It's not Court vs Tradition. It's Court undoing Court's unconstitutional 1991 order.
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) January 2, 2019
The act of purifying #Sabarimala temple because Menstruating women have entered is an act similar to untouchability. This is about women fundamentals rights, gender equality that our constitution ensured to all citizen. #genderequity
— Binoy Benny (@binoybenny811) January 2, 2019
A photo essay#vanithamathil
Women's wall, 620km, 5 million women, across all 14 districts of Kerala refusing to go back to the medieval ages and claiming gender justice. #Kerala pic.twitter.com/Bo4oNrR8gc
— I AM URBAN ☭ (@iamroysunny) January 1, 2019
— Stardust (@starziggydust) January 2, 2019
The #Sabarimala purification ritual brings home exactly why the 'different but equal' argument doesn't work. Potentially menstruating women're not dirty, must be protected by Art 17. Kerala has proud movements to open temples to dalits- time to go forward. #VanithaMathil2019 https://t.co/AZMfRHlTWD
— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) January 2, 2019
A 620 km long women's wall. A 5 million strong women's brigade. A resolve for right & dignity of women. Lefts, as evident again in #Kerala, are the champion of struggle against all kinds of discrimination. Unprecedented #WomensWall. pic.twitter.com/lJ5xnEQNad
— Dr.Sujan Chakraborty (@Sujan_Speak) January 2, 2019
Women of Kerala in huge numbers, saluted changes won by past struggles – including Dalit temple entry, lifting of ban on breast covering for oppressed caste women – and refused to let Kerala to be dragged backwards. What a wonderful beginning to 2019! #WomenWallKerala #Kerala https://t.co/quDQ7zfRXX
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) January 1, 2019
Later this month Supreme court has ordered to review this verdict and hear the petitions in open court but refuses to grant the stay.