On Jan. 2, two women entered the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala state, India, after years of not being able to worship in the temple. The two forty-year old women, whose names have not been released, unknowingly started multiple riots throughout the state and police fired tear gas into the crowds, but there have no reports of injuries so far.
The women worshiped, but were escorted out of the temple by the Kerala police, including Pramod Kumar, the state’s police spokesman who said it is "...police responsibility to provide protection to any devotee irrespective of gender." The day before the women entered the temple, millions formed a human chain more than 375 miles long (600 kilometers) from Kasargod in the northern part of the state to Thiruvananthapuram, the southernmost city and the state capital, to support gender equality, according to Fox News. Although priests are still trying to stop women from entering sacred temples, with women beginning to rise up for the right to worship, things may start to change in India.
In India, a law was instituted in 1972, banning that banned girls and women ages 10 through o 50 from worshiping in temples, due to their ladies’ menstrual cycles. Some Hindus believe that menstruating women to be impure, therefore, they were unable to enter temples to pray. Although the Indian Supreme Court lifted the rule in September, according to Fox News, demonstrators, including priests, continued to block women from entering until Jan. 2.