Thiruvananthapuram: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers on Monday marched into the Kerala capital while reciting mantras of Lord Ayyappa and demanded of the Kerala government to file a review plea against the recent Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala. The party members were of the view that the age-old traditions of the shrine should be reimposed. Further, the party further said that the Left Front government will bear the brunt of anything that happens in case the demand is not met.
The march was led by BJP Kerala president Shreedharan Pillai and BJP national general secretary Muralidhar Rao, India Today reported. The stride began at Pattom Junction and concluded in front of the Secretariat in Trivandrum. “The CM is an atheist, he doesn’t know anything. How can he decide our faith and religion,” the news channel reported Pillai as saying.
Notably, on September 28, the former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said that the ban on women from entering the temple violated the constitutional principles of the country. He further said that the rights of women should be no lesser than their male counterparts, and devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination.
While many, including the Kerala state government, welcomed the decision, a large number of devotees have organised protests, demanding to retain the age-old tradition. The Sabarimala temple, located in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, is dedicated to the Hindu deity Ayyappan. The temple management considers the deity to be eternal celibate which debarred women from entering the temple.
On Monday, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the temple custodian, invited the representatives of Pandalam Royal Family, Sabarimala priests, priests’ organisation and Hindu organisations for a meeting even as PS Sreedharan Pillai warned the Left government to resolve the issue of women visitors or face “severe consequences”. The BJP, RSS, Congress and Hindu groups have been protesting against the September 28 Supreme Court ruling lifting the ban on entry of women in the 10-50 age group into the temple, saying it will breach age-old traditions.