Conservative Hindu-Americans are raising their voices against the police attack on the Ayappa devotees at Nilakkal. Kerala police had made a massive attack on devotees who attend the “namajapa event” at Nillakal.
Kerala police also registered a case against 4000 devotees who attend the “namajap yathra”. After the Kerala High Court interference, police stopped arresting devotees.
The left government made Sabarimala as police camp at last time the temple opened.
To Hindu political and religious conservatives in America, the Sept. 26 verdict is a challenge to age-old traditions and a systematic attack on Hindu beliefs and traditions.
“Kerala government is acting like they want to demolish the temples and it traditions”. Mr. V.K Nair, a devotee from New Jersey told to News Plus USA.
Sabarimala, located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghats of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, is a popular pilgrimage destination. Lord Ayyappa is the presiding deity of the temple.
Protests are being held at various temples and Indian consulates across the country to condemn the state government’s alleged actions, alleged police atrocities and to express solidarity with the devotees, who protesters say, bravely blocked the efforts to save the temple from being defiled.
Condemnation of the verdict has come from such groups as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh of America, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and United States Hindu Alliance.
“The handful of the women who attempted to enter [the temple] have little respect to the sacredness of the place,” activist Satya Dosapati told India Abroad, adding that “it has deeply hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus around the world.”
Meanwhile, organizers of devotee protests across the country say it is not just the Hindu men who are protesting, even women are condemning the revocation of the ban. “The Hindus, especially women, are angry, they are furious,” Ravi Vellathri, a founding member and director of the Organization of Hindu Malayalees, told India Abroad. “The verdict hasn’t taken into the account the age-old belief system, the traditions, faith, and customs.”
No Hindu woman tried to go inside the temple despite the verdict, Vellathri said. “None of the petitioners that went to the Supreme Court seeking entry of restricted age women into the Sabarimala shrine subscribe to the Sabarimala aastha,” he said.
Many Hindu-American conservatives also believe that the verdict allowing women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter the temple in response to a petition by non-Hindus is an attack on the fabric of Hinduism under the pretext of religious reform and equality. According to Dosapati, the women who are seeking temple access are simply trying to denigrate Hinduism.
New Jersey-based Rajyalaxmi Saha, an expert on Hinduism and yoga, told India Abroad that the Supreme Court verdict goes against the wishes of the people. “Each temple, each sampradaya (tradition), each pratha (custom) has its own vedas and agamas” which define the ways of worship, she says. “We should be allowed to pray as we wish, according to our faiths and beliefs.”
Dosapati says that the Sabarimala incident is not an isolated event, but a planned and premeditated attack by anti-Hindu forces, particularly the Christian missionary establishment, leftists and other “break-India” forces. “The fact that the temple receives 50 million devotees per year makes it the prime target to destroy the ‘pagan’ religion using every possible method they have tuned from the experience they had after destroying the natives from Americas to Africa to Asia,” he says. “There is a danger to Hinduism.” The left government is part of the mission; a central agency should inquire about the role of them too. He added.
Like Dosapati, Gaurang Vaishnav, a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America believes that concerns about danger to Hinduism are valid. “There is a planned attack on the values and beliefs of Hinduism,” he told India Abroad.
Photo credit: www.indiaabroad.com