The Lord Ayappa Temple in Kerala is all set to open on Saturday for a 41-day long Mandala Pooja festival.
As the recent Supreme Court verdict did not stay the last order of allowing women entry, government will allow all women to enter the temple, however, no protection will be given to the women activists. The Government has made it clear that any young woman wanting to worship at the shrine should do so after getting a "clearance from the court".
Women rights activist Trupti Desai is planning to visit the temple after November 20 regardless of whether or not she is provided security cover. As pilgrims have already started making their way to the Sabarimala temple, what now needs to be seen is whether women would be able to enter the temple or not.
No police protection for women this time
According to sources, Kerala government has decided that the police will not be providing protection to women activists visiting the Sabarimala temple.
Several ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet have made it clear that the law and order must be maintained and "women activists should be kept away from the Sabarimala temple". Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran and Law Minister Balan have already clarified the government stand in this regard. Kadakampally Surendran on Friday said that "Sabarimala is not a place for activism and the LDF government would not support those who make announcements about entering the hill shrine for the sake of publicity".
BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan has already said that party will not allow the women between the ages of 10 to 50 into the temple. Right wing activist Rahul Eswar has also made it clear that the devotees will engage in Gandhian way of protest against women entry. But generally, there is a speculation that both the government and Devaswom Board will not allow women entry this season and would like to allow a peaceful pilgrimage season in Sabarimala.