VHP opposes campaign seeking women’s entry into Sabarimala

Kochi: Opposing campaign seeking women’s entry into Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, VHP on Friday said it was concerned about such developments and urged Kerala government to prevent if any of their group try to enter the hill shrine.

VHP state President S J R Kumar alleged that such campaigns were part of “conspiracy to hurt the sentiments of devotees of Lord Ayyappa and destroy the importance of Sabarimala in Hindu faith”.

Customs and rituals in places of worships particularly in temples have been practised for thousands of years and the court has no role in deciding matters related to faith, he told reporters here.

The restriction imposed on women between the age group of 10 and 50 from trekking the holy hills of Sabarimala and offering worship at the temple is in accordance with the practise prevalent from the time immemorial, as the deity is in the form of a Naisthik Brahmachari, he said.

Asked about the reported statement by activist Trupti Desai, who led a successful campaign for women’s entry into the Shani Shingapur temple in Maharashtra, that she wanted Travancore Devasom Board to allow women’s entry into Sabarimala, Kumar said, “it is the duty of the state government to prevent any such attempts”.

The Kerala High Court in its earlier judgement on this issue has ordered to render all necessary assistance inclusive of police and to impose restriction on young women’s entry at the temple, he said.

He said the VHP per se is not against women’s entry in the hill shrine. “We have no problem if a decision in this regard is taken by Thanthri (head priest) based on a Devaprasnam by well known astrologers.”

“We believe that the Court has no role in such matters,” Kumar said.

Citing an earlier high court judgement, he said since the deity is in the form of a Naisthik Brahmachari, it is therefore believed that young women should not offer worship in the temple so that even the slightest deviation from celibacy and austerity observed by the deity is not caused by the presence of such women.

The VHP hailed the Congress-led UDF government’s stand on the issue.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has made it clear that his government would not interfere in the customs and traditions of the hill shrine.

“There are persons who have the right to deal with matters related to faith and customs. Let them take decisions on such issues,” Chandy had said earlier.