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Sabarimala: Crucial SC order expected on Tuesday

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 13, 2018 Published on November 12, 2018

The Sabarimala Temple will open on Friday for the annual festival.   -  PTI

Kerala is awaiting with bated breath how the Supreme Court will choose to respond to a batch of writ and review petitions on its order of September 27 that opened the Sabarimala hill shrine to women of all age groups.

A five-judge bench is scheduled to hear in-chamber the review petitions at 3 pm  on Tuesday.

With views strongly polarised on the issue, all concerned, including the Left Front government, the Devaswom Board (the temple administrator) and the larger Sangh Parivar organisations are pushing their mutually conflicting points of view to the maximum effect.

The Devaswom Board has come round to the view that it will take upon itself the task of implementing the verdict. But if asked, it will be happy to apprise the court of the ground realities. But allowing the entry of women of the restricted age group between 10 and 50 into the temple means a break with the tradition, which the Sangh Parivar organisations and the NDA-BJP are objecting to.

The Left Front government which oversees the Devaswom Board had amassed all its police force and equipment at its command on two occasions when the temple had opened for rituals after the SC verdict. But it had to face a serious law and order situation at the base camp as well as at the hilltop shrine when the Sangh Parivar activists forcibly prevented the police from escorting young women in pursuance of the SC order.

The Sangh Parivar managed to use the Sabarimala issue to generate a groundswell of faith tinged with emotion and mobilise devotees in support of their campaign to ‘protect temple traditions which are being trampled upon by the State.’

This has found expression in the ‘Save Sabarimala rath yatra’ that rolled out from Kasaragod five days ago and is scheduled to end in Pathanamthitta, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ayyappa, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has called for an all-party meeting once the verdict is delivered. The temple will open on Friday for the annual festival.

Published on November 12, 2018
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