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The entry of the two women—Bindu Ammini (42) and Kanaka Durga (44)—into Sabarimala has put the Kerala units of the BJP and Congress on the backfoot. Photo: PTI
The entry of the two women—Bindu Ammini (42) and Kanaka Durga (44)—into Sabarimala has put the Kerala units of the BJP and Congress on the backfoot. Photo: PTI

Sabarimala | Temple tantrum

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the difference between the move to end triple talaq and opposition to women's entry into Sabarimala is based on gender equality and traditions, in that order

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview said the difference between the move to end the so-called triple talaq system of divorce among Muslims and the opposition to women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala was based on gender equality in the case of the first and tradition in the case of the latter, two women gained access to the shrine, ending a ban on women and in effect carrying out the Supreme Court’s December order on entry for all into the shrine.

This has ignited a firestorm in the southern state, with widespread protests and attendant police action. All this also comes a day after a reported 5 million or so women formed a “Vanitha Mathil" or women’s wall in a Left Democratic Front-organized show of solidarity with those protesting the ban, which was also pegged as a fight for gender equality.

Incidentally, rivals Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are at the forefront of the protests against the entry of the women at Sabarimala. Clearly, if not in gender, there is equality in political opportunism.

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