Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) chairman Prayar Gopalakrishnan on Friday said the board is against allowing entry of women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple. The hill shrine in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district is managed by the TDB. “The board does not want to make Sabarimala into Thailand. Even if the court allows entry of women of menstruating age into Sabarimala, no self-respecting woman will go up to the hill shrine,” Gopalakrishnan, a Congress leader, said.
“The board is against entry of women in the age group of 15-50. The issue entails serious matters related to tradition and security. If women are allowed entry to the hill shrine, women police will have to be deputed for security. This will lead to a lot of issues, including immoral activities,” he added. His comments came after the Supreme Court referred a petition relating to the issue to a Constitution bench. On entry to all women in Sabarimala temple, Supreme Court refers issue to larger bench
Senior CPI(M) leader and Temple Affairs Minister Kadakampally Surendran objected to Gopalakrishnan’s remark on Sabarimala and Thailand. “What kind of comparison has he made? The board chairman has insulted women and pilgrims alike. He gives a wrong impression about the temple. He should withdraw the statement and tender an apology,” he said. The state government is not prejudiced about the Supreme Court verdict, he said, adding that the government and TDB are bound to go by the court verdict.