The Tantri family (Head Priests of the Sabarimala) and the rulers associated with Lord Ayyappa temple on Sunday rejected Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s offer for talks over supreme court verdict allowing women of menstruating age to enter the shrine, reported The Hindustan Times.
The government had already taken the decision to implement the SC ruling, and there is no point in having talks, said Kandararu Mohanaru, one of the chief priests of Sabarimala Temple.
“If the government is keen about the talks, let them file a review petition in the supreme court”, urged the chief priest. The Pandalam royal family associated with the temple also rejected the call for talks scheduled on Monday (8 October).
Thousands of devotees had protested against the 4:1 supreme court verdict that abolished the centuries-old tradition of restricting women of menstruating age entering the temple premises.
The priest and the royal family had held that the practice is an essential part of the temple rituals and the deity who is considered to be celibate.
On Saturday (6 October), scion of the Pandalam royal family and the custodian of the temple, Sasikumar Verma, and chief priest Rajeevaru Kandararu participated in a protest rally in Kottayam district.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also expressed his difference of opinion with the court ruling saying “If you want to take a progressive step under article 14 and 21, it will apply uniformly against all religions. It cannot happen that you select practice and apply it because that will have many social consequences in a pluralistic society like India.”
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