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Home >Politics >Policy >Travancore Devaswom Board wants to continue ban on entry of women in Sabarimala

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the Supreme Court questioned the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age group at Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) on Tuesday said the restriction was part of custom and tradition of the shrine and it should be continued.

TDB, which manages the temple, would place its stand before the apex court for continuation of the ban on the entry of women in the age group of 10 and 50 years at the temple, TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said.

While hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Young Lawyers’ Association, seeking entry for all women and girls in Sabarimala temple, the court had observed that the practice was not supported by the constitutional scheme.

Gopalakrishnan said the apex court had made the observation based on an affidavit filed during the previous rule of Communist Party of India (Maxist)-led Left Democratic Front in 2006. He said the observation was without understanding the speciality of the rituals of the temple and deity Lord Ayyappa, who is considered to be “perennial celibate" (naishtika brahmachari).

As per the belief, certain customs and traditions have to be followed while visiting the hillock shrine, he said, adding, “the TDB and state government give more importance to preserve that customs and traditions".

The TDB also would implead in the case to present its stand before the court, he said.

Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) state president S.J.R. Kumar said the issue involved not only religious and ritualistic aspects, but also the safety of women at the hillock shrine, where lakhs of people converge in a short span of three months (November to January) during the annual pilgrimage season.

He said the VHP wanted the tradition of restriction on the entry of women to be continued at the shrine. The VHP is mulling to implead in the case and convince the apex court on the necessity to retain the ritual, Kumar added. PTI

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