New Delhi (Sputnik) — Following an Indian Supreme Court ruling earlier this year allowing for the first-ever entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple complex, two women in their forties defied tradition by entering the shrine to offer prayers early Wednesday morning at 3:45 am, according to a video released by the news agency ANI. The two women from the state of Kerala, named Bindu and Kanakadurga, entered the place of worship under police escort, reports ANI.
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2019
The tradition-defying event has evoked strong reactions in the social media. There are those who have hailed it as a victory:
— Padma Pillai (@lotophagus) January 2, 2019
— balu sunil (@balusunil2) January 2, 2019
— S_S (@s_us7) January 2, 2019
— Hari Prabhakaran (@Hariindic) January 2, 2019
— Raja Hindustani 🇮🇳 (@Rajeev17109032) January 2, 2019
— Jayesh S Rawal 🇮🇳🕊️ (@rawal_jayesh) January 2, 2019
Sabarimala Temple in the southern state of Kerala is dedicated to the god Ayyappa, the son of Shiva and Mohini, the female avatar of Vishnu. It has been a source of tension ever since activists filed a petition challenging a traditional ban on the entry of adult women into the temple. Last year, India's highest court ruled in their favour and asked the state government to take steps to implement an order mandating that adult women be welcomed in the place of worship. Following the order, Hindu radical groups threatened to commit mass suicide attacks to prevent women from entering the shrine of Lord Ayyappa.