Kottayam, November 4: As the Sabarimala temple reopens tomorrow, right-wing outfits have directed media houses to "not to depute women journalists" for covering the row as it may aggravate the situation on the ground. The "appeal" was issued in a letter sent to editors of regional and national media outlets.
Women of menstrual age, sent even for covering the controversy in Sabarimala, are likely to hurt the sentiments of Lord Ayyappa devotees, said the letter sent to media houses by Sabarimala Karma Samiti, a joint platform of conservative groups including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Hindu Aikyavedi. Sabarimala Temple to Re-open on November 5 for 24-hours, Security Tightened in Areas Near Holy Shrine.
"Recognising your right to support or oppose the devotees stand on this issue, we hope you will not take a stand which would aggravate the situation," it said.
The Sabarimala temple is set to open tomorrow for one-day, as part of a special puja on the birth anniversary of the last King of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma.
The hilltop shrine would, however, be reopened on November 17 for a three-month period to allow devotees from all parts of the nation and abroad to arrive for the annual pilgrimage.
As per the landmark Supreme Court order on September 28, women aged between 10-50 would be allowed to visit the shrine. As per the tradition, female devotees of the age-group were barred from entering as the deity Lord Ayyappa is a celibate.
The apex court however overturned the ban calling it violative of Article 14, which guarantees gender equality.
The Left government in Kerala has come under fire for not filing a review petition challenging the top court's order. On the contrary, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan welcomed the ruling and said that his government would leave no stone unturned towards implementing it.