Sabarimala verdict: Host of controversies in store, says Pandalam Palace

The Supreme Court’s judgment on women’s entry to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple is likely to create a host of controversies and accompanying problems across the society, the Pandalam Palace Managing Committee chairman. P. Ramavarma Raja, has observed.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr Raja said, “being staunch believers in the rule of law, the Pandalam Palace stands for combined efforts by all stakeholders, mainly the devotees, to find appropriate peaceful solutions to the issue.”

With the “support of legends and history and with its role in the present day rituals and practices at Sabarimala, the Pandalam Palace is all willing to advice and help the temple authorities for “solving the problems and protecting the sanctity of the temple,” he said.

According to Mr Raja, “it is for the State Government and the Travancore Devaswom Board to rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, both the entities seem to be eager to implement the Court directive at any cost, disregarding the feelings of the scores of Ayyappa devotees across the globe.’’

Mr Raja said there might also be further legal proceedings possible in the case. The Palace is for continuing with the restrictions on women’s entry and is hopeful that the Court order would be revised in due time.

“Our confidence is based on past experiences, where, against our opposition, the TDB had changed the location of the temple pond, Bhasmukulam, and constructed a ‘fly-over’ around the sanctum

sanctorum, some time back. However, the TDB is now forced to retract and undo its wrong doings at Sabarimala on the basis of the latest Devaprasnom prescriptions,’’ he said.

He also added that, the arguments were “centered around the Constitution and menstruation”.

“The text, `Bhoothanatha-sarvaswom’, says that it was none other than Manikanta who had prescribed the mode of worship at Sabarimala temple and hence it was quite inappropriate on the part of the Government or any other outside agency to alter the custom and practice there,” he added.

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