Amid ongoing protests, feminist activist Rehana Fathima, reporter Kavitha Jakkal and Woman devotee Mary Sweety tried to enter the Sabarimala temple today, three days after it was opened for women of all ages.
As the temple entries are blocked by devotees against the Supreme Court verdict to allow women of menstruating age to enter the temple, the three women were advised to return. They were escorted by a team of police personnel headed by Inspector General S Sreejith
Rehana is no stranger to controversies or standing up to them. She broke into the headlines in March this year when, in protest against comments from a professor in Kozhikode who said women should cover their watermelon-like-breasts, she posted pictures of herself with watermelons covering her breasts. Hours after sharing the pictures, they were taken down by Facebook after a flurry of trolls and threats.
However, she explained that this was needed because she wanted “to question the restrictions regarding a woman baring her body”,
She was also a part of several other movements of dissent. Fathima was the first woman to participate in the traditional Onam tiger dance, Thrissur Pulikali, that is traditionally done by all-male troupes.
She has also been a part of the Kiss of Love campaign against moral policing.
Rehana 31-year-old government employee and mother-of-two, Rehana was born in an orthodox Muslim family. She says she became disillusioned with religion after her father’s death.
Rehana said she wants to question the restrictions regarding a woman baring her body and make a point on women’s assertion of her own self. Her Facebook bio seems to sum her up well: ‘Break the rules’.
Rehana had earlier posted a picture of her wearing the ‘mala’ onFacebook with a single word caption: “Philosophy”.
Kavitha Jakkal, a reporter from Hyderabad working with Mojo TV, was one who was accompanying Fathima as the police escorted them to the gates of Lord Ayyappa’s shrine. She also wore a bulletproof jacket as they walked from Pamba to Sannidhanam.
She had earlier said that she won’t return before the darshan. However, the two women were forced to return afterward as their security was threatened by an agitating crowd of devotees.
The CEO of Mojo TV, Revathi, took to Twitter soon after the incident and said that her team of journalists including Kavitha, Balakrishna and Narasing were going on an indefinite hunger strike.
“They r fighting for their right. They are fighting for what the #SupremeCourt said. Don’t take this country back to medieval ages! Let the law live,” she wrote.
Another woman, Mary Sweety, tried to enter the temple but was forced to return soon after. Mary Sweety told reporters that “her body was full of divine power motivating her to climb”, as per a report in The News Minute. A 46-year-old woman from Kerala’s Kazhakkottam, she said she wanted to witness the deity at least once. However, she had to return midway after she was stopped by a group of protesting devotees.
“I don’t know about them (journalist Kavitha Jakkal & woman activist Rehana Fatima). If women have returned, it is your drawback. I want to go there,” she said.
The priest inside temple has created ruckus throwing away Supreme Court order and indulged in protest at the entrance of traditional 18 steps that forced these three women to return . If the protest not happened these three women could have created history said a local police source .
The devasaom board which is one among the 25 review petitions that Supreme Court refused to hear on urgent basis has been caught in cross roads . The rule of law or the traditional agama is a burning question that run across the sabarimala the devasaom board has to answer
It is interesting to note the Place sabarimala was named after a women who once upon a time lived by name sabari . The place where it is been named after women now not allowing women is a strange fact many women forum observes.