THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The float on Lord Ayyappa should be included in the Republic day parade tableau as the hill shrine is already a pilgrim centre of international repute, Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said on Sunday. He was responding to an ‘Express’ report that the Ministry of Defence had struck off the Lord Ayyappa tableau proposed by the state government from the RD Parade. Sabarimala celebrates spiritualism beyond religion, he said. “Pilgrims from 30 countries had availed the virtual queue facility for offering darshan. This shows that Sabarimala has already become an international pilgrim centre,” he said.
Gopalakrishnan denied he had made any comment regarding machines that can scan women to see whether it is the ‘right time’ for them to enter the temple. “I had not said anything in that regard. That was a needless controversy,” he said.