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‘Rewriting of old beliefs must continue … If not this year, then next or the year after, women will go to Sabarimala’

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In a Facebook post that has gone viral, Reshma Nishanth, 32, a college lecturer from Kannur, announced her resolve to worship at Sabarimala and hoped that her decision would spur more women devotees to follow suit. She talks to Jiby J Kattakayam about it:

How did you arrive at this decision?

For many years I took the mandala vratham (Sabarimala fasting) for 41 days knowing well that I could not undertake the pilgrimage. Now with Supreme Court judgment and Kerala government promising to ensure pilgrims’ safety, I took the decision to go for the pilgrimage this year. Secondly, there is one section of faithful who have vowed not to let women devotees enter. Many women devotees have told me that they are deterred by the religious fundamentalism of this section and worry that this group can go to any extent to stop them. That is when I thought that if at least one woman comes forward, others will gain courage. If not this year, then next or the year after, women will go. Those stopping us are fighting a losing cause.

You are being given various tags on social media like feminist, communist and activist.

I don’t even know what feminism signifies.........

© The Times of India