VHP Opposes Campaign Seeking Women’s Entry into Sabarimala

SJR Kumar said such campaigns were part of a “conspiracy destroy the importance of Sabarimala in Hindu faith”.

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Members from the hardline Hindu group, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) during a demonstration. (Photo: Reuters)

Opposing the campaign seeking women’s entry into Sabarimala’s Lord Ayyappa temple, the VHP said it was concerned about such developments and urged the Kerala government to prevent any such group trying to enter the hill shrine.

VHP state President SJR Kumar alleged that such campaigns were part of “conspiracy to hurt the sentiments of devotees of Lord Ayyappa and destroy the importance of Sabarimala in Hindu faith”.

Customs and rituals in places of worships particularly in temples have been practised for thousands of years and the court has no role in deciding matters related to faith, he told reporters Kochi.

The restriction imposed on women between the age group of 10 and 50 from trekking the holy hills of Sabarimala and offering worship at the temple is in accordance with the practise prevalent from the time immemorial, as the deity is in the form of a Naisthik Brahmachari, he said.

Asked about the reported statement by activist Trupti Desai, who led a successful campaign for women’s entry into the Shani Shingapur temple in Maharashtra, that she wanted Travancore Devasom Board to allow women’s entry into Sabarimala, Kumar said, “it is the duty of the state government to prevent any such attempts”.

The Kerala High Court in its earlier judgement on this issue has ordered to render all necessary assistance inclusive of police and to impose restrictions on young women’s entry into the temple, he said.

He said the VHP per se is not against women’s entry in the hill shrine. “We have no problem if a decision in this regard is taken by Thanthri (head priest) based on a Devaprasnam by well-known astrologers.”

“We believe that the Court has no role in such matters,” Kumar said.

Citing an earlier high court judgement, he said since the deity is in the form of a Naisthik Brahmachari, it is therefore believed that young women should not offer worship in the temple so that even the slightest deviation from celibacy and austerity observed by the deity is not caused by the presence of such women.

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