Sabarimala Row: Ayyappa devotees seek live telecast of SC proceedings (File Photo)
The Sabarimala temple has been at the centre of a row ever since the Supreme Court in a path-breaking judgement had in September 2018 allowed entry of women of menstrual age group into the hill shrine in Kerala. Raking up the storm, the National Ayyappa Devotees' Association (NADA) on Friday moved an application to the top court, seeking video-recording and live-telecast during the proceedings of review petitions, which challenge the September 28 Sabarimala verdict allowing the entry of women of all ages into the Lord Ayyappa Temple. The Constitution bench is scheduled to hear the review petitions on January 22.
"National Ayyappa Devotees’ Association (NADA) files an application in SC seeking video-recording and live-telecast of proceedings of review petitions challenging its verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala Temple. Constitution bench to hear review petitions on Jan 22," the news agency ANI reported.
National Ayyappa Devotees’ Association (NADA) files application in SC seeking video-recording&live-telecast of proceedings of review petitions challenging its verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into #SabarimalaTemple. Constitution bench to hear review petitions on Jan 22 pic.twitter.com/dqDwBDboPM— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2019
Kerala witnessed a string of protests ever since three women of menstruating age entered the hilltop shrine in the state. Accompanied by police personnel, 40-year-old Bindu and 39-year-old Kanakadurga made history by becoming the first women of menstruating age to enter the temple and offer prayers during the wee hours of January 2. This was followed by 36-year-old Dalit activist Manju, who dyed her hair grey in order to look above her age and entered the temple on January 8.
On January 3, a state-wide shutdown was enforced in protest against Bindu and Kanakadurga's entry into the temple. A case was registered against four RSS activists for hurling a country-made bomb at Nedumangad police station during the protests that day.
In the wake of this massive violence, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday said if the state government was not able to control the situation, outside agencies could be brought in. The court also observed that Sabarimala was meant for devotees and that the Pinarayi Vijayan government should identify those who have an agenda to spoil the peaceful atmosphere at the Lord Ayyappa shrine.
In November, the court had ordered that no protests or demonstrations should be held at Sabarimala, holding that it was not a place for such activities.
The Sabarimala Temple has become the centre of protests after the Supreme Court had on September 28, 2018, lifted the ban on the entry of women between 10 to 50 years into the Lord Ayyappa shrine, breaking the centuries-old Hindu religious practice in Kerala.