A review petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against its earlier verdict which lifted the ban on entry of women of all ages in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
The plea is filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president of National Ayyappa Devotees Association, the Nair Service Society, Pandalam royal family and tantri or the chief priest of the temple challenging SC’s September 28, 2018 verdict lifting the centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age from entering the temple. The plea said the judgement is “absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse”.
“We still hope the court will review its verdict,” said Sasikumar Verma the representative of the Pandalam dynasty.
“We have moved a review petition in the Supreme Court against the earlier verdict. We will decide on the future course of action only after knowing the outcome of the review petition. Otherwise, the discussion with the government does not make any sense,’’ said Sabarimala tantri Kandararu Mohanaru.
— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) October 8, 2018
Hundreds of devotees of Lord Ayyappa and several Hindu organisations have protested in Kerala against the SC’s verdict, saying it was upholding the rights to equality of worship. The tantri and royal family have turned down the invitation for talks with the government since the government has already announced its plan to enforce the order. The royal family wants to protect the age-old traditions at the temple and was not interested in a discussion aimed at reaching a consensus on implementing the SC’s order.
They are also against the order to deploy women police personnel in the temple. The state police chief Loknath Behra said that 600 women police personnel will be deployed in the temple.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Kerala government has accepted the SC verdict and is making safety arrangements for women devotees.
Soundara Rajan, founder-chairman of the Temples Protection Movement, criticised the Kerala government, “Ayyappa devotees are not only in Kerala but are present in all the states of the country and therefore when the atheistic Kerala government has unilaterally decided not to file a review petition, the central government needs to perform its constitutional duty and act as per dharma.”