Pointing out that devotees’ sentiments “cannot be ignored” while considering the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women into the Sabarimala temple, the RSS on Wednesday called upon all stakeholders to come together and address the issue availing “judicial options also”. The Sangh also maintained that the Supreme Court judgment should be honoured.
“The recent judgment on Sabarimala Devasthanam has evoked reactions all over the country. While we all respect the varied temple traditions followed by devotees in Bharat, we have to also honour the honourable Supreme Court,” RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi said in a statement.
Throwing open the doors of Sabarimala temple in Kerala to girls and women of all age groups, the apex court annulled the centuries-old practice of temple to prohibit the entry of women of menstruating age and described the tradition “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.
“While the Supreme Court judgment should be respected, RSS calls upon all the stakeholders, including spiritual and community leaders, to come together to analyse and address the issue availing judicial options also,” the RSS said.
“There is an obvious reaction to the same by the devotees, especially women, who are protesting against the forceful breaking of the tradition,” Joshi said.
The RSS, which has been at loggerheads with the ruling CPI(M), slammed the state government’s decision to implement the apex court’s order with immediate effect. “Unfortunately, the Kerala Government has taken steps to implement the judgement with immediate effect without taking the sentiments of the devotees into consideration,” Joshi said.
He said suggested that all stakeholders and devotees must convey their concerns on their right to worship in a manner which best suits their faith and devotion, to the authorities in a peaceful manner.
Sabarimala is a prominent Hindu temple located at Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. It attracts tens of millions of pilgrims every year. The hill-top ancient temple of Lord Ayyappan remains open only for a little over four months in a year and the approach is through a forested area that involves an arduous five-km trek from the Pampa river base camp.
Kerala will not file review petition on SC Sabarimala verdict: CM Vijayan
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government will not file a review petition on the Supreme Court verdict lifting the age restriction on entry of women to Sabarimala temple. “We are a law-abiding society and we have to follow the Supreme Court orders,” CM Vijayan said.
Vijayan said the state will ensure facilities and protection to women devotees visiting the shrine. “Women police personnel from Kerala and neighbouring states will be deputed to ensure law and order. Women who want to go to Sabarimala cannot be stopped,” Vijayan said. READ more
Women who believe in Lord Ayyappa will not go to Sabarimala: Kerala Congress leader
A day after thousands of men and women under the aegis of different Hindu organisations displayed their strength by protesting on streets in Kerala against the Supreme Court verdict, senior Congress leader K Sudhakaran cautioned the LDF government against testing the beliefs of devotees.
“These protests that we saw on the streets were spontaneous. Their reaction is natural. The protests were borne out of the disappointment and heartbreak of people of the Hindu community over the dismantling of their beliefs. We are not asking for any kind of violence, but the CPM-led government must take note of this. They must file a review petition against the verdict in the Supreme Court,” Sudhakaran, the newly-appointed working president of the Congress state unit, told reporters at a press briefing in Kannur.
“No woman who actually believes in Lord Ayyappa will go to Sabarimala. Only the adventurous types who want to take a trek will go there,” he added.
TDB, which manages Sabarimala, echoes Kerala govt stand: Won’t file review petition against SC verdict
The Travancore Devaswom Board, that administers the Sabarimala hill shrine, echoed the stand taken by the state government not to file a review petition against the historic 4-1 Supreme Court verdict that opened doors of the temple to women of all ages.
At a press conference, A Padmakumar, TDB president, told reporters that the Board, after careful examination of the verdict, has decided to implement the wishes of the five-judge constitution bench. “We have received a questionnaire from the Kerala High Court asking for details of the measures that we plan to take to implement the Supreme Court order. In this backdrop, we have decided to take all the necessary steps that will enable women to visit the temple. We have taken a decision not to file a review petition in the Supreme Court,” Padmakumar said.