Bindu Ammini, attacked for trying to enter Sabarimala, moves Supreme Court
New Delhi: Bindu Ammini, the Dalit woman who was attacked recently while trying to enter the Sabarimala temple, on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking free entry for women of all ages and religions into the Ayappa temple at Sabarimala. The court had struck down a temple rule that disallowed women in their reproductive phases (between 10 and 50 years) from entering the temple as gender discriminatory and against right to equality enshrined in the constitution.
But the temple administration and the state government have been violating this ruling, Bindu alleged. As a lawyer and a law teacher herself, she believed that fundamental right of women and Dalits cannot be subservient to faith, religion and custom. “Applicant is not a caste Hindu, but belongs to Dalit community. Her belief is that Dharma Sastha is the deity at Sabarimala. Dharma Sastha had two wives and children.
Applicant believes that no one has the right to question her faith. Applicant is motivated by Dalit identity to fight for constitutional values like gender equality, fraternity, etc.” She claimed that when she had last year entered the Sabarimala temple, a purification was conducted, which was deeply hurting and humiliating.
The purification was evidence of a form of untouchability, she alleged. The petition was filed by advocate P Prashanth and was settled by senior advocate Indira Jaising. She accused the state government of openly defying the court ruling and not giving adequate protection to those women wishing to visit the temple. “The applicant is being attacked by some unlawful elements wherever she goes and the state government has completely failed to give her adequate protection. A responsible government which is duty bound to carry out the directions of this court cannot be allowed to take flimsy excuses for non-cooperation.”
She accused the Kerala government of insisting on a specific permission from the top court to allow women in the age group of 10 to 50 to enter. This was gross contempt, she alleged, demanding action against the officials responsible for this.