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A conspicuous no-show in the run-up to polls

 It’s conspicuous why there have been no  attempts by young women to offer darshan at Sabarimala after the Election Commission announced the schedule for Lok Sabha polls in Kerala.

Published: 20th April 2019 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2019 05:46 AM   |  A+A-

Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala

Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala (File Photo)

Express News Service

KOCHI:  It’s conspicuous why there have been no attempts by young women to offer darshan at Sabarimala after the Election Commission announced the schedule for Lok Sabha polls in Kerala. This goes to show the state government apparently does not want to create an anti-government sentiment in the lead up to the polls though it went all-out to facilitate the entry of young women into Sabarimala in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.

The darshan by Kanakadurga and Bindu during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season stands testimony to the clandestine operation carried out with tacit support from the authorities concerned. Though Sabarimala temple was opened on two occasions - from March 11 to 21 for the annual festival and April 14 to 19 for Vishu - there was neither police-escorted darshan for young women nor any attempts by young women in disguise to offer darshan. 

Moreover, both the annual festivals at Sabarimala went on peacefully without any untoward incident compared to tensed Mandalam- Makaravilakku season when a couple of young women made attempts, a few of them successfully making it,  amid protests from Sabarimala Karma Samiti (SKS). According to the SKS,  it is now clear the state government showed undue haste in implementing the SC order. “The LDF knew their political game on Sabarimala will badly affect their prospects in the general elections. After the announcement of election dates, the situation changed at Sabarimala as the government machinery did not entertain any young woman,” said SKS convener T P Senkumar.

The police officers too admitted there were thorough checks at Nilakkal and other entry routes to Sabarimala during the annual festival and Vishu days to ensure no young woman made it to the shrine. 
“A special team of women police personnel was deployed at Nilakkal for carrying out vehicle checks to find out whether they ferried  young women devotees,” said a senior police officer. 

No fresh bid
Though Sabarimala temple was opened on two occasions - from March 11 to 21 for the annual festival and April 14 to 19 for Vishu - there was neither police-escorted darshan for young women nor any attempts by young women in disguise to offer darshan



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