THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Contrary to the claims of supporters of the ban on women’s entry at Sabarimala, former top bureaucrat T K A Nair on Thursday revealed that his mother had visited the hill shrine sometime in 1940.Nair, former principal secretary to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said his family visited the temple as advised by the head of the Pandalam royal family. “I was only a few months old then. My parents took me to the shrine to perform my ‘choroonu’ (a baby’s first rice eating ceremony).
I was later told that the group comprised my parents, maternal uncle and a Kani tribesman,” Nair told Express. Nair was born in November 1939 and the visit was sometime before next November as per the custom. He said his mother was in her youths during the visit. At present, entry of women in the 10-50 age group is banned at the shrine.
First three children born to Nair’s parents had died as infants. “During that time people used to visit the royal family chief for spiritual advise. The chief advised my father to perform my ‘choroonu’ ritual at the shrine for my healthy life,” Nair said.His parents christened him T K Ayyappankutty Nair, in benevolence to Lord Ayyappa, presiding deity of the Sabarimala temple. 78-year-old Nair said he does not know the details of the visit. “Perhaps my mother entered the temple through the Malikappuram gate, avoiding the holy 18 steps reserved for those who observe the 41-day abstinence,” he says.
Women of all ages used to visit Sabarimala: Kadakampally
T’Puram: Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Thursday reiterated his stand that women of all ages used to visit Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple in the past. “There is evidence that members of the royal family visited the shrine. Women members of well-to-do families used to visit the shrine then,” he said. Politically motivated lies, says Rahul Easwar Activist and member of the Thazhamon Madom tantri family, Rahul Easwar on Thursday said the claims of Surendran and T K A Nair were false. “Both the arguments are politically motivated lies,” he told reporters here on Thursday.
Rahul Easwar flayed the decision of the LDF-nominated new office-bearers of Travancore Devaswom Board to cancel the previous board’s decision to rechristen the shrine as Sree Ayyappaswami temple. “It is the agenda of non-believers to name the temple as Sree Dharma Sastha temple. Devotees want the temple to be known as Ayyappa temple. Lord Ayyappa is a celibate god while Lord Dharma Sastha has two wives as per the belief,” he said.