Pandalam Palace decries government affidavit

P. Ramavarma Raja  

The erstwhile royal family of Pandalam has taken strong exception to the affidavit filed by the State government before the Supreme Court in connection with the entry of women between 10 and 50 years to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

In its affidavit, the State government had stated that women of all age groups should be permitted to enter the temple.

Talking to The Hindu , Pandalam Palace Managing Committee (PPMC) chairman P. Ramavarma Raja said the three-member Bench of the apex court had made it clear that the “stance of the government was not the final one as the court would take a decision after deliberating upon various aspects, including the constitutional provisions with regard to gender equality.”

“The government stand suffers from more infirmities. Many articles in the Constitution allow differences among citizens on different counts, meaning equality is not absolute. Rituals and practices in places of religious worship, by themselves, occupy a different category, enjoying constitutional protection to a great extent, irrespective of the presence of any discriminating elements,” Mr. Raja said. Regarding the change in the government stance from its earlier stand in February, Mr. Raja said the court should examine whether the government can alter its stance “to suit its convenience,” giving a purely political colour to the issue.

“Whether it is the UDF or LDF, it is sheer interference of politics in religious matters,” Mr. Raja said. The PPMC chairman said the government should have ascertained public opinion, women’s views and stakeholders’ rights before adopting its stance on the issue.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 7:42:34 AM |

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