Pandalam royal family claims Sabarimala belongs to devotees and not TDB, says it will not compromise on customs

Speaking to reporters at Pandalam, royal family representative Sasikumar Varma rejected the Kerala governments' contention that the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) was the custodian of Sabarimala temple and said it was 'wrong'.

Press Trust of India October 25, 2018 08:44:38 IST
Pandalam royal family claims Sabarimala belongs to devotees and not TDB, says it will not compromise on customs

Thiruvananthapuram: Hardening its stand against the entry of women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala shrine, the erstwhile Pandalam royal family Wednesday said it was not prepared for any compromise as regards the ancient rituals and traditions of the Ayyappa temple.

Speaking to reporters at Pandalam, royal family representative Sasikumar Varma rejected the Kerala governments' contention that the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) was the custodian of the temple and said it was "wrong".

"The temple is of the devotees," he said, adding, "If there is any violation of the customs and traditions, they have the right to question the same." "We have never asked to close down the temple. We are not prepared for any compromise on customs and traditions. The family is not eyeing the wealth of the Ayyappa temple," Varma said.

Pandalam royal family claims Sabarimala belongs to devotees and not TDB says it will not compromise on customs

Devotees at Lord Ayyappa tempe in Sabarimala on Monday. PTI

On the issue of entry of women into the shrine, he said there was an attempt to "divide" the Hindu faithful on the basis of "avarnas" (lower) and "savarnas" (upper) castes. But the Ayyappa devotees saw through it and did not fall into the trap, Varma added.

What had happened at Sabarimala over the last six days, when the temple was opened for the monthly pooja from 17-22 October, was "painful", he said. At a time when the government had failed to ensure basic facilities like accommodation, toilets and drinking water to the devotees, six young women trekked the hills with police protection, Varma alleged.

No real woman devotee in the 10-50 age group attempted to offer prayers at the shrine on the strength of the Supreme Court verdict, he claimed. The six women, who attempted to offer prayers at the temple and were given police protection and escorted, were part of a script and a hidden agenda, Varma alleged. Taking a dig at the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala, he said the attachment of the royal family to the temple did not change every five years.

However, they had time and again sought a hike in the allowances for the people who escorted the "Thiruvabharanam" (sacred ornaments of Lord Ayyappa) from Pandalam to Sabarimala during the Mandala Makaravillaku festival. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had criticised the Pandalam royal family and the "tantri" (head priest of the temple) Tuesday, saying the board was the legal custodian of the hill temple.

The famous Sabarimala temple, which opened for the monthly pooja on 17 October after the Supreme court order, had witnessed a stand-off over the issue with angry devotees preventing at least a dozen women in the "barred" age group from entering the shrine. On 28 September, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

NEET cut-off 2020: NTA to release UG cut-off marks shortly; all details here
India

NEET cut-off 2020: NTA to release UG cut-off marks shortly; all details here

The 'cut-off' comprises of the minimum qualifying percentile and score that a student needs to pass the exam; NEET 2020 cut off will be declared online with the results

Parliament Monsoon Session: LS passes farm bills as Harsimrat Kaur Badal quits PM's Cabinet in protest; RS discusses COVID-19 management
India

Parliament Monsoon Session: LS passes farm bills as Harsimrat Kaur Badal quits PM's Cabinet in protest; RS discusses COVID-19 management

In the Rajya Sabha, Union minister Harsh Vardhan said that a coronavirus vaccine is likely to be available in India by early next year and added that the Centre is aiming to bring down India's COVID-19 mortality rate

NIA arrests nine people with suspected Al Qaeda links from Kerala, West Bengal; firearms, body armour seized
India

NIA arrests nine people with suspected Al Qaeda links from Kerala, West Bengal; firearms, body armour seized

An NIA press release said that the agency "carried out the simultaneous raids at several locations in Ernakulam (Kerala) and Murshidabad (West Bengal)"