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Travancore Devaswom Board still undecided on women’s entry at Sabarimala temple

Sources close to the newly constituted Board said it would toe the government’s line if it submits an additional affidavit.

Published: 24th July 2018 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2018 05:46 AM   |  A+A-

A crowded Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple on the eve of the Makaravilakku ceremony on Saturday (File Photo | Shaji Veetipuram)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the Travancore Devaswom Board is dilly-dallying on its stand on the woman entry issue at Sabarimala, its request to submit an additional affidavit will come before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

TDB president A Padmakumar said the Board is yet to arrive on a decision. “It is depended on whether the court would permit our request. If it is accepted, we will consult with different stakeholders to finalise our stand,” he said.

Sources close to the newly constituted Board said it would toe the government’s line if it submits an additional affidavit. The state government had earlier told the apex court that it was for lifting the ban on women in the 10-50 age group at the Ayyappa temple.

If the SC permits the Board’s request, says Padmakumar, it would hold consultation with the thantri family, the Pandalam royal family and devotees’ organisations. It will also seek the opinion of the Central government.

Former TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan strongly condemned the new Board for its indecision on a crucial issue of the devotees. “The Board first said it would follow our stand on continuing the restriction on women belonging to a particular age group. Later, they changed their stand following the government’s stand. This is ridiculous,” he said.

Prayar said Board members were bound to protect the devotees’ interest as per their oath of office. “If the Board, the custodian of the temple, neglects the age-old tantric traditions and customs, the devotees would be rendered helpless,” he said.

It is learnt that the senior member of the Thazhamon family would approach the court seeking to implead in the case. The family members were unavailable for comments.



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