Kerala

Supreme Court hearing on Sabarimala women’s entry begins today

The board is now focussed on improving pilgrim amenities so that more pilgrims could have darshan without giving room for any complaints. | File

The board is now focussed on improving pilgrim amenities so that more pilgrims could have darshan without giving room for any complaints. | File   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

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TDB shifts to a more pragmatic stance on Sabarimala issue

As the hearing on the review petitions on the verdict granting entry for women of all ages to Sabarimala commences at the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, the Travancore Devaswom Board and the State government have moved over to a stance to ensure a smooth pilgrimage and stave off attempts to gain political mileage from the issue.

The heavy turnout for the Mandalam and Makaravilakku festivals and the demand from the faithful to create a milieu conducive for peaceful pilgrimages in the coming years seem to have prompted the board to adopt a tempered stance on women’s entry.

Since the court has neither issued a notice nor has elicited its views afresh on the review petitions coming up for hearing on Monday, the board got ample leeway to review the pros and cons.

It weighed the imperative for ensuring peace and tranquillity in Sabarimala and its precincts and the demand for conserving the ritualistic tradition of the temple and finally swerved to a more pragmatic stance.

Interest of devotees

Board sources told The Hindu that the top priority of the TDB was to discharge its bounden duty to safeguard the interest of devotees and also the ritualistic tradition of the temple, but was obliged to abide by the court decision, whatever it maybe.

While delegating the board to take a final call on the issue, the government explicitly expressed its desire that the court should consider its earlier proposal to seek the views of those profound in the custom, rites and tradition of the temple. The government had mooted a similar proposal before the court as a panacea to clear the confusion on the issue and also help the court have a better grasp of all aspects related to the temple.

Though the court did not give due weightage for the proposal, the government has once again flagged it and the board too accepted it.

Political angle

Most importantly, the government seems to be aware of the fallout in providing room for the Sangh Parivar outfits to disrupt law and order again in the guise of protecting faith and tradition and reaping political mileage from the melee.

The Travancore Devaswom Board and the State government seem to have adopted a complementary stance denying room for any bid to politicise the issue.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 8:29:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hearing-on-womens-entry-begins-today/article30551921.ece

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