Published: Sun, October 15, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

If women enter Sabarimala, it will become Thailand: TDB chief Gopalakrishnan Says

If women enter Sabarimala, it will become Thailand: TDB chief Gopalakrishnan Says

Speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, Gopalakrishnan said that there are going to be huge security issues if all women are allowed entry.

On 7 November, 2016, the Kerala government had informed the apex court that it favoured the entry of women of all age groups in the historic Sabarimala temple.

Presently, there is no ban on females aged below 10 and above 50 years from entering the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. Challenging the ban restrictions on entry of women into the Sabarimala temple, the top court has been hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

On 11 January, the court had questioned the ban, saying this can not be done under the Constitution. "Unless you have a constitutional right, you can not prohibit entry", the court had said.

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has accused TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan of defaming women and Ayyappa devotees by comparing Sabarimala with Thailand. "We've no intention for it. Devaswom board's stand is against women of all age groups entering the Sabarimala temple", he said. It is propounded by him that a religious practice based on religious faith adhered to and followed by millions of Hindus for over a millennium in consonance with natural rights of men and women is not violative of Fundamental Rights without appreciating the scope of these rights.

Sabarimala, one of Kerala's most renowned temples which has Lord Ayappa as the presiding deity, does not allow menstruating women to enter the temple.

In 2007, the then LDF government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in favour of Women's entry in Sabarimala.

The petition argued that the ban, enforced by Rule 3 (b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Rules, 1965, was unconstitutional insofar as it violated Articles 14 (equality before law), 25 and 26 (freedom of religion).

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