Thiruvananthapuram: Supporters of various Hindu organisations on Tuesday took to the streets in various cities of Kerala to protest against the September 28 Supreme Court verdict that threw open the Sabarimala temple to women of all ages. The protest here was led by former Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) President and former Congress legislator Prayar Gopalakrishnan who said that he will oppose the verdict “come what may”.
He, along with Rahul Eshwar, a member of the Sabarimala temple ‘tantric’ family, and hundreds of protesters rallied in the city and even held up traffic for a while. The TDB manages the Sabarimala temple.
At Kochi, protesters had a tiff with police when the latter objected to hampering the flow of road traffic. The largest protest was witnessed at Pandalam, where members of the erstwhile Pandalam royal family, along with a large number of men and women walked to the Veliye Koyikal Temple at Pandalam while singing hymns.
The family plays an integral role in the temple affairs and has already expressed deep dissatisfaction over the court verdict. Protesters also rallied at Pamba town, which is situated on the foothills of the Sabarimala temple. “The court order is not acceptable as every religious place has its own traditions which cannot be overruled by a court of law as it affects the sentiments of devotees,” said a protester. Similar protests were also witnessed in Palakkad.
On September 28, the apex court had said that the ban on women from entering the Lord Ayyappa temple violated their fundamental rights and constitutional guarantee of equality.
Until now, girls below the age of 10 and women over 50 were allowed to visit the hilltop shrine, located in the Western Ghats and about 130 km from Thiruvananthapuram. (IANS)