Amid the huge anti-women protests and violence at Kerala's Sabarimala temple and a right-wing statewide strike, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat today said people feel the Supreme Court judgment that allowed women into the temple did not take into account the long-held traditions, which are accepted even by a large number of women.
"The premise of the tradition that has been accepted by society and continuously followed for years together was not taken into consideration. The version of heads of religious denominations and faith of crores of devotees was not taken into account," he said in his traditional Vijaya Dashami speech.
Sabarimala opened its doors to women yesterday following last month's Supreme Court order that struck down the centuries old ban on the entry of women of reproductive age. But not a single woman has been able to set her feet inside.
Through the day, hundreds of protesters, camping out at the base camp of Nilakkal and Pamba - the last stop on the 18.4-km trek -- barred women from reaching the hilltop shrine.
Journalists, most of them women, who had gone to cover the story were harassed, abused and in some cases, physically attacked. A reporter from The News Minute was kicked on the spine and another from Republic TV was beaten with sticks. Even women health workers and police personnel were not spared.
This morning, a woman journalist from New York Times on way to the temple was forced to turn back midway despite having police escort.
Right wing groups have called a statewide day-long bandh over the police action on protesters, which took place in at the end of the day. The state BJP is supporting the shutdown. The Congress has not openly supported the bandh but has struck to the traditional view in its response to this issue.
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