Sabarimala row: Former TDB chief demands ordinance against SC verdict

Pathanamthitta : Former president of Travancore Devaswom Board, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, on Thursday demanded an ordinance from the state and central governments against the entry of women aged between 10-50 years into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple.

Gopalakrishnan’s remarks came in the wake of the 12-hour statewide strike called by the Sabarimala Protection Committee earlier today over the incidents of violence and protests across Kerala.

Protestors skirmished with police and attacked women and journalists on Wednesday ahead of re-opening of the Sabarimala Temple- the first time after the apex court paved way for entry of all women into the holy shrine of Lord Ayappa.

Reacting to women of menstruating ages not being allowed to enter the temple despite the top court’s directive, Gopalakrishnan said, “We will think over how to face that. The devotees of Ayappa must be with us, not only in Kerala, not only in India, but all over the world.”

Towing a similar line, a devotee of Lord Ayappa explained how the court ruling violates the prevalent beliefs.
“In some temples, there are rituals which must be followed strictly. Court is giving order for all women to enter but from last 50-70 years, no women between 10 to 50 years of age visited the temple. It’s our belief which we follow in Hinduism,” he said.

Section 144 (prohibits assembly of more than four people) has been imposed in Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal, and Elavungal, following incidents of violence. The police also baton-charged protestors at the Nikkal base camp after they resorted to stone -pelting. Similar incidents were also witnessed in Pamba, Sannidhanam, and Elavungal.

While women above 50 years of age were seen entering the Lord Ayyappa temple on Wednesday evening, women between 10 to 50 years of age refrained from visiting due to security concerns.