Bindu Ammini is a lawyer, activist and feminist from Kerala. She is considered as one of the two first women who entered the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. Women between the age of 10 and fifty halted to enter this temple by the Supreme Court of India (SCI) because of their mensurating age. SCI made a decision in 2019 that women at their reproductive age would not be allowed to enter the temple.
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Bindu Ammini was born in 1975 (age 44 years; as of 2021) in Kerala. She earned a Masters degree in Law.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Bindu Ammini belongs to a Dalit family in Pathanamthitta.
Parents & Siblings
After her parents separated, Bindu Ammini was brought up by her illiterate mother.
Husband & Children
Her husband’s name is Hariharan, and he is a lecturer in Kerala. He is the former Kozhikode district secretary of Yuvajanavedi. The couple has a daughter named B.H. Olga. She met her husband at the age of 18, and they settled in Poyilkavu, Kerala after their marriage.
After completing her law, Bindu Ammini worked at Calicut University as a teacher for some time. Later, she started working as a lawyer in the Koyilandi court, and at the Thalassery campus of Kannur University, she is working as an Assistant professor in the School of Legal Studies. Besides this, Bindu Ammini, along with her husband, runs a grocery shop in Kerala. Later, she also started serving the Bhim Army in Kerala originated by Chandrasekhar Azad.
Entry Into the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple
In 2019, the Supreme Court of India showed a green flag to the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 in the Sabarimala temple. This decision of the court prompted Bindu Ammini to join several social media groups on Facebook including Navothana Keralam Sabarimalayilekku (Renaissance Kerala) that were created for the women who desired to visit the temple. On this Facebook group, she met Kanakadurga, who was the second woman who visited the Sabarimala temple along with Bindi Ammini on 2 January 2019.
First Try to Enter the Temple
Bindi Ammini, along with Kanakadurga and two other women attempted to enter the Sabarimala temple on 22 December 2018. Firstly, they gathered at Thrissur and then went to the temple. On 24 December 2018, the two other women denied going to the temple during the journey whereas Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga were stopped by the male protesters. Later, she campaigned for the lack of police protection and went on a hunger strike.
Second Try to Enter the Temple
On 2 January 2019, at around 3:45 am, Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga entered the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. They hurriedly ran towards the temple while wearing black clothes; but, the police escorted them. Soon after the incident, the videos of their temple entering went viral on several social media platforms all over India with messages of opposition and support. Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of Kerala, later confirmed the entry of the Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga into the temple. Soon after their entrance into the temple, the priests of the temple closed the temple for purification rituals. After Bindu’s successful entry into the temple, she was given police protection, and she was forced to hide.
The people of Sabarimala Karma Samiti mobbed her house after the incident. Other organisations also campaigned and protested against her after her entry into the temple. In a conversation with a media correspondent in February 2019, she said she was receiving death threats. Bindu Ammini stated in an interview that she believed in subaltern feminism that was related to the rights of women from the backward classes. She further stated that the protest against her entering the temple was politically influenced. She narrated,
We were not trying to start trouble,” and “Our goal was only to visit the temple. For the next generation of women, this is motivation.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party members of Kerala called it a Black Day when they entered the shrine. Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala who was also the supporter of the decision by the Supreme Court, called the entry of Bindu and Kanakadurga historic.
Third Try to Enter the Temple
The Supreme Court of India transferred the case to a larger bench to be reviewed in November 2019. Soon, the Kerala government also stopped giving protection to Bindu and Kanakadurga after the pending decision of the Supreme Court and also withdrew its support. In November last, Bindu and other activists went to the Ernakulam City Commissioner’s office to seek further police protection as they wanted to enter the temple once again. At Ernakulam City Commissioner’s office, she was attacked by an unknown protester with chilli/pepper spray. Soon, she was admitted into the hospital. Kerala DGP was asked to look into the matter by the National Commission of Women. In December 2019, the Supreme Court of India denied providing any police protection for the women entering the temple. On 24 February 2019, the two people were granted pre-arrest bail by the Kerala High Court for spraying chilli powder on Bindu Ammini.
The Kerala High Court in its verdict claimed,
The RSS/BJP and many Hindu organisations protested against the entry of activist women to Sabarimala Temple. However, the Government of Kerala supported the entry of activist women to Sabarimala Temple. Bindu Ammini was an ‘activist’ and not a devotee.”
In a conversation with TIME, an online media house, she expressed her religious views as,
I am agnostic. If I believe in something powerful, it is subaltern feminism.” ((TIME
In November 2020, she released a video and claimed that she was threatened by a man over the phone to attack her with acid. Soon, on her complaint, police registered the cases of 354 A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) against the man.
In 2020, Bindu Ammini was seen supporting farmers protest in New Delhi.