Even as the issue of women’s entry to Sabrimala temple has been referred to Constitutional bench of Supreme Court, the statements on this issue has already begun arriving. In this context, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president Prayar Gopalakrishnan expressed confidence that even if the Supreme Court allows it, no self-respecting woman born in a decent family would contemplate entry into the Sabrimala Temple.
The TDB President reiterated that women of menstruating age should not be allowed to enter the temple. He also said that Sabrimala will not be allowed to become Thailand. The temple must not be allowed to become a tourist centre. The hill shrine in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district is managed by the TDB, which has restricted the entry of women between 10 to 50 years of age. Gopalakrishnan said that it that was a matter of security as well as tradition. “What will be the situation if women between the ages of 10 to 50 have to climb uphill under challenging weather conditions without any safety?” he asked. “If women are allowed to enter the shrine, women police will also have to be deputed for security. This will lead to a lot of issues, including immoral activities,” he added.
Kerala Minister for Devaswom and Tourism Kadakampally Surendran flayed the remarks of the TDB chief and said he had insulted the women community and Ayyappa devotees with such a comparison. He wanted the TDB president to tender an apology for his remark. Surendran also said that the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the state was of the view that there should not be gender- based discrimination for entry in temples. “We will abide by the court ruling,” he said.