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B Upendran | HENB | Pandalam | Oct 2, 2018:: Around 10000 Hindu women of all ages held protests at Pandalam in Kerala against the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing entry of women at the Sabarimala Temple in the state. The women have been demanding that the apex court should be reviewing its decision allowing entry of women in the Sabarimala temple. In a historic verdict on September 27, the apex court had scrapped the age-old practice of not allowing women between the age group of 10-50 in the Sabarimala temple.
Pandalam is a municipal town in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. According to the legend, Lord Ayyappan was once a prince of Pandalam, after he was adopted by the Pandalam King and the Pandalam Royal family.
The women raised slogans and demanded that the state and the central government should file review petition in the SC decision citing that it was against the rituals of the 800-year-old temple. The activists demanded that the state government should file a review petition challenging the Supreme Court’s verdict taking into account the faith of those who believe in the tradition.
“We are asking the democratic system to listen to us. We stay away from the Sabarimala temple out of our devotion and respect and not because of patriarchal compulsions,” said one of the activists. Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Monday held a meeting and discussed the requirement to increase facilities along the route leading to the temple.
Meanwhile, political parties such as CPI-M, BJP state unit as well as the Pandalam Royal Family, which has an integral role in the affairs of the Sabarimala temple, have expressed their disappointment with the SC verdict. The BJP state unit has in fact said that the government was not taking into consideration the feelings of supporters who believed in the tradition of the temple.
In a statement on Sunday, the Ayyappa Dharma Samrakshana Samiti stated that as a show of solidarity urging the SC to review its verdict, it was decided that the Samiti, under the leadership of the Pandalam royal family, would observe October 2 as Ayyappa Dharma Samrakshana day.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) and many other Hindu groups also supported the cause of Pandalam Women protest and sent their women members for the programme.
The organisers claimed an unprecedented gathering in Pandalam against the Supreme Court’s verdict on Sabaraimala allowing women in Sabarimala shrine denying certain age restrictions of women of 10-50 yrs according to age old venerated customs for Lord Ayyappan.
Smt. Padma Pillai, the leader of “Ready to Wait” Movement told HENB, “The Democratic System of this Country should take heed to the voices of the women of this Country. The faith of the Malayalam women on Lord Ayyappan is above everything. The stay away from Sabarimala during the age of restriction for women i.e. above 10 yrs to 50 yrs is definitely for the love and affection to Lord Ayyappan and not for any societal or patriarchal oppression.”
__With inputs from Agencies.