Thousands of women, adolescent girls, children and men took out a march on the Jantar Mantar Road to register their protest against the Supreme Court’s verdict on allowing fertile women enter Sabarimala in violation of age-old traditions. The general refrain was faith was not a matter of court’s jurisdiction. All Hindu organisations in the National Capital were represented. Backed by the beating of percussion instruments they sang “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa” as they moved along the road. There was no political sloganeering or anti-government utterances, though speakers criticised the onslaught of the Left Front government on Hindus in a veiled manner.
The verdict, though a setback for the devotees, has united Hindus. There was pent-up anger against the Chief Minister of the state Pinarayi Vijayan for his political foolhardiness.
Pandalam Royal family representative Kerala Varma Raja, former bureaucrat Ananda Bose, advocate Usha, People for Dharma activist Usha Nandini and other community leaders took part in the demonstration.
The turnout of women has been unprecedented. “The verdict has helped unite Hindus,” said Babu Panikkar, a social activist.
Speaker after speaker showered praises on women for their unwavering bhakti towards Lord Ayyappa. It is for the first time that women turnout in large numbers for a cause.