Allow non-Hindus into temples: Tharayil

TDB member seeks support of president, members for the demand

September 09, 2017 11:41 pm | Updated September 10, 2017 12:07 am IST -

Ajay Tharayil

Ajay Tharayil

Travancore Devaswom Board member Ajay Tharayil on Saturday raised the demand that non-Hindus also be allowed to enter temples under the board’s control.

In a Facebook post, he sought the support of TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan and other members in amending a board order issued in 1952 which restricted entry to temples only to Hindus or those who submit a testimonial that they believe in Hindu religion.

“It’s common for non-Hindus who do not believe in idol worship to visit temples. The Devaswom board’s order thus does not have much relevance in such situations. Asking someone to submit a testimonial that they believe in Hindu religion amounts to conversion. It is not the Devaswom board’s responsibility to promote conversion,” he said.

Reacting to the demand, Devaswom board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said at a press meet here that the board could not unilaterally take such a decision.

“Any decision in this regard can be taken only after consultations with the tantris, priests, and other stakeholders. We also have to hold discussions with the other Devaswom boards in the State and also with the government. Already, non-Hindus are allowed into the Sabarimala temple. A change can be brought about in the other temples only if all the stakeholders agree. Otherwise, the status quo will be maintained,” he said.

Minister for Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran said unnecessary debates on the issue were best avoided. He said except at Sreekrishna Temple in Guruvayur, there was no bar on entry of non-Hindus in temples. The issue at the Guruvayur temple had to be resolved by public hearing.

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