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Rahul Easwar to Trupti Desai: Meet The Sabarimala Newsmakers

Rahul Easwar to Trupti Desai: Meet The Sabarimala Newsmakers
Rahul Easwar to Trupti Desai: Meet The Sabarimala Newsmakers

Rahul Easwar: President, Ayyappa Dharma Sena

A man of much bombast, he is frequently seen on both the regional and national channels. The grandson of tantri Kandararu Maheshwararu, late chief priest of Sabarimala, he has been in the news for all the right (wing) reasons. President of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena, he calls himself a Gandhi bhakt and a follower of K.B. Hedgewar. This Gandhi bhakt attacks ‘feminazis’ on Twitter, and has vowed not to allow a single ‘feminazi’ into the temple. He was picked up by police as the chief instigator of the protests on the day the temple opened for the first time after the verdict. When released, he claimed to know of around 20 people who were ready to spill blood or urine (“contingency plans B and C”) in the temple if a young woman entered. Following this, the tantri family disowned him. He was again taken into custody by the police for his controversial statements, and is now out on conditional bail.

Trupti Desai: Frontman of the Bhumata Brigade The Right to Pray activist, who has been storming temples and mosques, was shut in at Kochi airport by thousands devotees when she landed in Kerala to go and pray at Sabarimala. “I will be back with guerilla tactics,” she says.

K.P. Sasikala Teacher: President, Hindu Aikya Vedi Known for her extreme rhetoric, she was taken into custody by the police for defying prohibitory orders from near Sabarimala and arriving at night. She has visited the temple four times this season alone.

Padma Pillai: Spokesperson, #ReadyToWait campaign The campaign, over two years old, opposes young women’s entry. Pillai says the priests must be believed, and said in an interview with Times Now, “If the deity says, don’t allow Dalits into the temple, I would follow that.”(later retracted)

Swami Sandeepananda Giri: Founder and Director, School of Bhagavad Gita and Salagramam Public Charitable Trust His rationalist take on the Sabarimala issue has angered right-wing activists, who have dubbed him kalla (fake) swami. Arsonists torched vehicles at his ashram.

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