RSS Leader Climbs Sabarimala Steps, Accused of Breaking Rituals
A senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader on Tuesday, 6 November, courted controversy after violating the key tradition of Sabarimala temple by climbing the sacred 18 steps of the shrine without carrying the customary 'Irumudi Kettu' (sacred offerings to Lord Ayyappa) on his head, The News Minute reported.
As per rituals, a devotee is only supposed to climb up the 18 steps with the Irumudi Kettu on his head.
According to PTI, the incident took place when RSS leader Valsan Thillankeri, who has been camping at the shrine complex since Monday, was pacifying the angry agitators protesting against the entry of a 50-year-old woman inside the Sabarimala temple.
Earlier in the day, about 200 frenzied devotees tried to prevent the 50-year-old woman, Lalitha, from entering the hilltop shrine suspecting her to be of menstrual age. The also allegedly attacked a cameraperson of a Malayalam news channel.
A video that is doing the rounds on social media shows Valsan addressing devotees standing at the pathinettam padi, with his back facing the temple and without an Irumudi Kettu, – both violations of the temple’s tradition.
The RSS leader, in his defence to PTI, stated that he did carry the offerings while climbing the steps, adding that he was trying to help the police to calm the angry agitators.
In another video, Valsan was seen addressing the agitators on the entry of women. The RSS leader was seen stating that women below 50 years will not be allowed to enter the temple, thus they should not turn the temple into a battle ground.
(With inputs from PTI and The News Minute)