Social activist to visit Sabarimala temple

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi: Social activist Trupti Desai on Wednesday said she would visit the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala along with six other women in the previously banned 10-50 age group on November 17 but it was stoutly opposed by a right wing activist, sparking fears of a fresh confrontation.
Desai, who spearheaded the campaign to allow entry of women to various religious places, including Shani Shingnapur temple, the Haji Ali Dargah, the Mahalakshmi Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, announced the decision even as the Supreme Court once again refused to stay its verdict which allowed entry of women of all age groups to the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala.
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, meanwhile, called for a “holistic approach” on the Sabarimala issue so that the sentiments of the people were not hurt, observing the Centre would intervene in the matter at the “right time” if required. Asked by reporters if an ordinance was required to deal with the situation, Sharma said the Kerala government had to decide on the matter.
“The state government has to take a call on that (ordinance) and the central government, if required, will definitely intervene at the right time,” he said . The two-month-long Mandala Makaravillakku pilgrimage season in Sabarimala commences on November 17 and attracts devotees from all over. With no stay being given, it remains to be seen whether girls and women in the menstruating 10-50 age group will be able to enter the shrine after a 6-km arduous trek since attempts by some were foiled by protesters at the base camps in Nilakkal and Pamba when the shrine was opened for 8 days in two spells after the the verdict. Desai, in an email to Kerala Chief Minister sought security as she apprehends an attack on her life during her visit to the shrine. (PTI)

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