Visit villages instead of Sabarimala: Taslima Nasreen to activists

Taslima Nasreen

Thiruvananthapuram: Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen wondered why women activists were so eager to enter the Sabarimala shrine, which opened for a two-month long pilgrimage season Friday, and said instead they should visit villages where women face several issues.

“I do not understand why women activists are so eager to enter Sabarimala. Better they should enter the villages where women suffer from domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, hate, where girls have no access to education, health care, and no freedom to take a job or get equal pay,” the writer tweeted.

The author has been living in exile in India and Europe after having incurred the wrath of fundamentalists back home over a novel written by her in 1994.

Activist Trupti Desai, who arrived in Kochi en route to the hill shrine early Friday, gave up her plans following protests by devotees and others including the BJP, outside the Kochi airport. She was not allowed to come out of the airport with protesters vowing not to let her proceed to the Lord Ayyappa temple.

The activist and her colleagues later announced that they would leave Kochi. The temple complex and nearby areas had witnessed widespread protests after the state government decided to implement the 28 September Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups to pray at the hill shrine.