Surprise Move by Sabarimala Temple Board Leaves Everyone Flabbergasted!

 In Hinduism

Surprise Move by Sabarimala Temple Board Leaves Everyone Flabbergasted!

After over four months of controversy around Sabarimala temple and entry of women into the temple, there seems to be happy ending o sorts to the episode. Happy because temple board came up with a surprise that has left everyone shocked, but has put a peaceful end to the complete issue. In what is considered to be a shot from the arm by the Devasom Board, the board officials have clearly told to the Supreme Court that they have no objections to women in the age group of 12-50 years entering the temple.

The Travancore Devaswom Board told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it had changed its stand on the ban. The Travancore Devaswom Board, which previously supported the Sabarimala temple’s ban on women of a specific age group, has told the Supreme Court that it has changed its stand. Lord Ayyappa, the deity of the Sabarimala temple, is considered to be eternally celibate.

The Kerala government’s counsel, while opposing the review of the Supreme Court’s order on Sabarimala, said that the “essential practice of a religion and the essential practice of a temple cannot be confused.”  During the course of the hearing on Wednesday, the Kerala government submitted before the Supreme Court that exclusion of women is “not essential to Hindu religion”. The state government made its submission during the hearing of the review petitions against the Court’s Sabarimala order allowing women entry into the hill shrine. Subsequently, the entry of two women into the shrine had sparked off massive protests in Kerala by traditionalists and had triggered a political slugfest between the CPI(M) and the BJP.

Referring to the petitions that stated that the Court’s order had destroyed social peace, the state government said, “Social peace has been destroyed is a ground cited by the petitioners. This cannot be a ground for review. We know social peace will come.”

Four months after it allowed women of reproductive age entry into the Sabarimala temple, the Supreme Court today heard review petitions challenging its September verdict. After the hearing, a five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi reserved the verdict in 65 petitions including 56 review petitions and 4 fresh writ petitions in the Sabarimala temple case.

The Sabarimala temple told the Supreme Court today that it supports the entry of women of all ages at Kerala’s famous hill shrine. The board is controlled by the Kerala government, which has opposed any review of the top court’s September order that opened the temple doors to women between the ages of 10 and 50 and set off a huge backlash.

The annual pilgrimage season saw violent protests recently as devotees of Lord Ayyappa, the celibate god, tried to stop women and girls between the ages of 10 and 50 years from entering the shrine. One of the two women who eventually managed to enter the temple in January was even attacked allegedly by her mother-in-law.

The Board was earlier in opposition to the entry of women into the Lord Ayyapa shrine at Sabarimala and also opposed the PIL by Indian Young Lawyers Association saying that the celibate character of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala temple was a unique religious feature which was protected under the constitution.

The apex court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking review of the verdict allowing the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi heard submissions on behalf of parties, including the Kerala government, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), Nair Service Society and others and said that it would pronounce its order as to whether to review the judgment or not.

The apex court was seized of as many as 64 petitions, including review pleas. Kerala government, the TDB and two women who had entered the shrine opposed the review petitions, including those filed by Nair Service Society. Earlier in the day, the TDB, which manages the shrine, told the apex court that they support entry of women of all age groups into the shrine.

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