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PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | April 29, 2016:: Amid a debate over permitting women of all age groups to worship at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, BJP in Kerala feels that political parties should not interfere in the issue and it should be resolved through consensus among the stakeholders.
BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekharan said that while customs and rituals “should change in accordance with time”, political parties should not take sides on the issue. .
“Those having faith in the religion should be the ones who decide the matter,” he said.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has already made it clear that government will not interfere in traditions and customs of the hill shrine.
However, the BJP leader said customs and rituals should change in accordance with time. “There is no doubt, customs and rituals should change in accordance with time, but it should be after arriving at a consensus.”
“As the issue regarding entry of women in the age group of 10—50 at Sabarimala is religious, it should be resolved through a mechanism within the religion,” Mr. Rajasekharan told PTI in an interview here.
“As it is a religious issue connected with rituals and traditions, it should be resolved through consensus, through a mechanism within the framework of the religion,” he said when asked about BJP’s stand on the matter.
He was speaking to PTI during a hectic campaign tour of Vattiyoorkavu, from where he is making his electoral debut.
“With regard to Sabarimala hill shrine, situated in Pathanamthitta district, Travancore Devaswom Board is the administrator. There are Tantris (Chief Priests), vedic scholars, priests, organisations of devotees. They are the people who have the say on tradition and practises.”
“This issue has to be discussed by them and consensus arrived at,” said Mr. Rajasekharan, a former president of Viswha Hindu Parishad, adding, “we have to hear what they have to say also.”
“This type of practise is not only in Hindu religion. It is also prevailing in Islam,” he said.
“Political parties should not interfere and take sides on this type of practises and traditions,” he said, reiterating that efforts should be to arrive at a consensus.
“Because faith is the backbone of religion. Spirituality is different from religion. Tradition and practise has no place in spirituality…. But the base of all religions is faith. Practises, rituals, customs and traditions were made to retain the religion,” he said.