Two Women Enter Indian Temple That Banned Women for Centuries


Two women in southern India made history Wednesday by entering a temple where women of childbearing age have not been allowed for centuries.

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  • Publisher: The Daily Beast
  • Date: 2019-01-02T18:59:28.552Z
  • Author: Audrey McNamara
  • Twitter: @thedailybeast
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

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Two women enter Indian temple, defying centuries-old ban

KOCHI, INDIA/NEW DELHI – Two women defied a centuries-old ban on entering a Hindu temple in India’s southern state of Kerala in the early hours of Wednesday, the state’s chief minister said, raising fears of a backlash from conservative Hindu groups.

The women, reported by Reuters partner ANI to be in their 40s, entered the premises of the Sabarimala hill temple, defying local tradition that bars women of menstruating age ‘ between the ages of 10 and 50.

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Conservative Hindu groups say they believe women of menstruating age would defile the temple’s inner shrine. Local news channels reported the chief priest closed the temple for ‘purification’ rituals after the women visited.

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Protests break out in India after two women enter temple

Protests have broken out in the Indian state of Kerala, where groups of angry traditionalists waving black flags blocked traffic and staged demonstrations outside government offices to oppose the entry of two women into a Hindu temple.

Police used teargas and water cannon to disperse the protesters outside government buildings in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, according to local news channels. The police intervened after clashes between Bharatiya Janata party and Communist party workers.

BJP leaders are angry that the two women entered the temple to offer their prayers in the early hours. Priests ‘purified’ Sabarimala after hearing of the visit and will keep it closed on Thursday as a mark of protest.

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  • Publisher: the Guardian
  • Date: 2019-01-02T13:58:51.000Z
  • Author: Amrit Dhillon
  • Twitter: @guardian
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

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Women enter Hindu temple after India lifts longtime ban, make history

Two women made history in India, becoming the first to enter a Hindu temple in Kerala after a centuries-old ban was lifted.

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Hundreds of thousands of women in southern India created a human chain to defy protestors who want to ban them from entering the Sabarimala temple. USA TODAY

In September, India’s Supreme Court overturned a ban on women of menstrual age, between 10 and 50, from entering the temple, reports the Associated Press.’

According to CNN, the two women, ages 42 and 44, entered the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday, one of the holiest sites in Hinduism, accompanied by police officers.

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Two women defy centuries-old ban by entering Indian temple

Protests Erupt In Southern India After Women Defy Centuries-Old Temple Ban

Protesters in Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram block traffic and shout slogans reacting to reports of two women of menstruating age entering the Sabarimala temple, one of the world’s largest Hindu pilgrimage sites, on Wednesday. R S Iyer/AP hide caption

For centuries, women of menstruating age have been banned from the Sabarimala temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The country’s Supreme Court ordered the temple to lift the ban last year, but no woman below 50 had been able to get in, until today.

#WATCH Two women devotees Bindu and Kanakdurga entered & offered prayers at Kerala’s #SabarimalaTemple at 3.45am today pic.twitter.com/hXDWcUTVXA

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