Fait(h) accompli

The ‘entry’ of two women into the Sabarimala temple, the subsequent remarks made by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and reports which suggest that the entry on Wednesday happened after an elaborate recce which lasted a week, clearly indicate that the whole incident was a well-planned one. A man who had accompanied the women was quoted as saying: ‘The best thing police did was to keep it a secret. This helped us immensely.’ While the Kerala government might justify this by saying that it was supposed to follow the Supreme Court verdict, the history of God’s Own Country in implementing court verdicts in the past, especially in the Mullaiperiyar issue, is an open secret.

The heated and intense agitations by Ayyappa devotees and Hindu groups, which prevented women from entering the temple all these days after the SC verdict, have emerged as a sort of ego war between the government and the protesters. By helping the women to have darshan on Wednesday, the government has implicitly proved its might. But, the problem is, many may not question if the women who want(ed) to enter the Sabarimala temple are real devotees. Some of them are non-Hindus and some even belong to atheist groups. This is the real issue which is why devotees are opposing their entry.

Moreover, each and every place has certain rules and regulations. For instance, men can’t enter ‘ladies compartment’ in trains and girls will not be allowed to study in schools and colleges meant for boys. There are many such things across the world and it would be illogical to question these. Even in religious matters, there are women-only Hindu temples where man can’t even dream of performing poojas. Faith and belief come first in these issues and making things worse in the name of law is only bound to aggravate problems. Amicable solution is the need of the hour.

NT Bureau