The violent protests which erupted across Kerala this week over the Sabarimala temple controversy sparked off a number of reactions on Twitter, with some calling for respecting the sentiments of the devotees and some others criticising the earlier restriction on women of menstruating age.
On Friday, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “It’s a pity that Kerala, a state known for progress & communal harmony is burning due to the Sabarimala issue. I call on everyone to keep calm and restrain from acts of violence. We have to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on the review petition… When the matter is subjudice, no action should have been taken that would cause heartburn and turmoil in society. While Kerala has not left any stone unturned for its women empowerment, the temple traditions and sentiments of devotees should be respected.”
In response, historian and writer Ramachandra Guha argued:
“Temple traditions should be respected”: that’s precisely what orthodox Namboodiri Brahmins said in the 1920s to keep Dalits away from the shrine in Vaikom: https://t.co/QH6mcVFdSL
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) January 5, 2019
Amid the protests, political reactions also flew thick and fast. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao in a press conference claimed that Kannur, from where Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hails, had become the “epicentre” of the violence and this revealed the state government’s complicity in it.
“All this has been done by the CPM goons with the full authority and support of the state government. The CPM has a history of unleashing violence against the RSS-BJP cadre, but today, they are not even sparing the devotees,” Rao alleged.
On the other hand, Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac said, “
BJP spokesperson warns Kerala government of dire constitutional cosquences. Constitution? Which one? The same one which Supreme Court referred to when it opened the Sabarimala temple to women of all ages against which BJP is on warpath?What a joke. — Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) January 6, 2019
You are asking me to explain how the 2 women managed to enter Sabarimala temple. Why? Just like any other devotee. Walked up the hill. For your information according to TOI report today at least 10 women have entered the temple and exercised ther constitutional right. — Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) January 6, 2019
The United Nations has also responded to the ongoing stir, noting that the Supreme Court in India has ruled on the issue of women entering the Sabarimala temple. A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the world body encourages all to respect the rule of law.
“As you know, this is an issue on which the Supreme Court of India has commented. So, we will leave the matter in the hands of the rule of law authorities in India. Of course, we want all parties to respect the rule of law, and you’re aware of the UN’s position and its fundamental position on the rights on equal rights of all people,” Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq told reporters at his daily press briefing Friday.
With inputs from PTI
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