Topic Of The Day:-“Breaking Barriers: On Two Women’s Sabarimala Temple Entry”

The Key Is To Allow Women To Pray At Sabarimala In An Orderly Way

In facilitating the entry of two women, albeit in stealth and under the cover of darkness, the Kerala government has displayed some resolve in breaking the illegal blockade imposed by some devotees on permitting females in the 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala temple. This is the first time women of menstruating age have made their way into the shrine after a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in September 2018 threw the temple open to women of all ages. Under some pressure to demonstrate that it had not gone soft as a result of the upsurge of protests against the Supreme Court’s order and was keen on signalling that it was in favour of upholding the law, the government appears to have drawn up an elaborate and closely scripted plan, with assistance from the State police and civil administration, to help Bindu and Kanakadurga make their way unnoticed to the temple from the foothills at Pampa. Unfortunately, but not entirely unpredictably, news of their visit has resulted in a cycle of violent and politically orchestrated protests, clashes, and mass arrests. Tragically, one life was lost.

In the face of an illegal blockade to prevent menstruating-age women from visiting the temple, the Kerala government will regard this operation as a victory. But clearly, even it must be aware thatcovert ops such as this one are not a sustainable solution to the Sabarimala problem. The State government’s dilemma — and also its responsibility — is to find a way of ensuring safe passage for all women who want to visit the temple while keeping the peace at the same time. Given the passions at play, and the cynical attempts to politically exploit them, this is anything but an easy task. In the short term, though — and this may well have been its intent — the Left Front government has managed to alter the narrative in the Sabarimala controversy. The decision of the temple authorities to close the sanctum sanctorum and perform purification rituals hasinvoked old and regressive notions of purity and pollution, of defilement and desecration. They have focussed attention on the role of the chief priest (or Tantri) of Sabarimala, leaving him open to the charge levelled by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that his actions violated both the Supreme Court order and the Devaswom Manual. At a larger level, the entry of the two women has, perhaps inevitably, recalled Justice D.Y. Chandrachud’s words in the majority judgment in the Sabarimala case. In his judgment, he had argued that the ban on women’s entry was a “form of untouchability”, and their exclusion was a “violation of the right to liberty, dignity and equality”. Meanwhile, as passions continue to escalate, it is important for the State government, the Travancore Devaswom Board and also those representing the devotees to initiate a conversation and prevent the State from being consumed in a further cycle of violence and conflict over this issue.



1) facilitating

Meaning : make (an action or process) easy or easier(v).

Synonyms : expedite

Antonyms : block

Example : “schools were located in the same campus to facilitate the sharing of resources”

2) stealth

Meaning : cautious and surreptitious action or movement(n).

Synonyms : covertness

Antonyms : show

Example : “the silence and stealth of a hungry cat”

3) resolve

Meaning : settle or find a solution to (a problem or contentious matter)(v).

Synonyms : boldness

Antonyms : fear

Example : “the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days”

4) imposed

Meaning :force (an unwelcome decision or ruling)on someone(v).

Synonyms : appoint

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them by others”

5) shrine

Meaning : a place regarded as holy because of its associations with a divinity or a sacred person or relic, marked by a building or other construction.

Synonyms : altar

Antonyms : secular

Example : “the medieval pilgrim route to the shrine of St James”

6) threw

Meaning : propel (something) with force through the air by a movement of the arm and hand(v).

Synonyms : deliver

Antonyms : discourage

Example : “I threw a brick through the window”

7) demonstrate

Meaning : clearly show the existence or truth of (something) by giving proof or evidence.

Synonyms : determine

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “their shameful silence demonstrates their ineptitude”

8) upsurge

Meaning : an upward surge in the strength or quantity of something; an increase(n).

Synonyms : recovery

Antonyms : downturn

Example : “an upsurge in vandalism and violent crime”

9) keen

Meaning : having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm(adj).

Synonyms : anxious

Antonyms : apathetic

Example : “a keen gardener”

10) elaborate

Meaning : involving many carefully arranged parts or details; detailed and complicated in design and planning(adj).

Synonyms : complicated

Antonyms : easy

Example : “elaborate security precautions”

11) assistance

Meaning : the action of helping someone by sharing work.

Synonyms : backing

Antonyms : damage

Example : “the work was completed with the assistance of carpenters”

12) unpredictably

Meaning : in a way that cannot be predicted(adv).

Synonyms : abrupt

Antonyms : calm

Example : “it is known that wildfires behave unpredictably”

13) Tragically

Meaning : in a way that involves or causes extreme distress or sorrow.(adv)

Synonyms : horribly

Antonyms : comically

Example : “Jim was tragically killed in a plane crash”

14) regard

Meaning : consider or think of in a specified way(adv).

Synonyms : view

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “she regarded London as her base”

15) covert

Meaning : not openly acknowledged or displayed(adj).

Synonyms : hidden

Antonyms : open

Example : “covert operations against the dictatorship”

16) sustainable

Meaning : able to be maintained at a certain rate or level(adj).

Synonyms : continual

Antonyms : untenable

Example : “sustainable economic growth”

17) ensuring

Meaning : make certain that (something) will occur or be the case.

Synonyms : assure

Antonyms : endanger

Example : “the client must ensure that accurate records are kept”

18) exploit

Meaning : make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).

Synonyms : adventure

Antonyms : failure

Example : “500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology”

19) though

Meaning : however (indicating that a factor qualifies or imposes restrictions on what was said previously)(adv).

Synonyms : nevertheless

Antonyms : furthermore

Example : “I was hunting for work. Jobs were scarce though”

20) intent

Meaning : intention or purpose.(n)

Synonyms : decided

Antonyms : flexible

Example : “with alarm she realized his intent”

21) controversy

Meaning : prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion(n).

Synonyms : bickering

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “the design of the building has caused controversy”

22) regressive

Meaning : returning to a former or less developed state; characterized by regression(adj).

Synonyms : rigid

Antonyms : liberal

Example : “regressive aspects of recent local government reform”

23) notions

Meaning : a conception of or belief about something(n).

Synonyms : approach

Antonyms : being

Example : “children have different notions about the roles of their parents”

24) desecration

Meaning : the action of desecrating something.(n)

Synonyms : blasphemy

Antonyms : respect

Example : “the desecration of a grave”

25) inevitably

Meaning : as is certain to happen; unavoidably(adv).

Synonyms : necessarily

Antonyms : avoidably

Example : “inevitably some details are already out of date”

26) conflict

Meaning : be incompatible or at variance; clash(v).

Synonyms : battle

Antonyms : truce

Example : “parents’ and children’s interests sometimes conflict”