RSS says it does not support call for hartal in Kerala over women’s entry into Sabarimala
The Kerala government said it would take strict action against those who try to disrupt normal life.Updated: Jul 29, 2018 17:46 IST
The RSS and other organisations have disowned the state-wide hartal called in Kerala by a little-known organisation, Ayyappa Sena, on Monday to protest the move to allow women of reproductive age to enter the Sabarimala temple.
The Sena has threatened to stop women at the base camp in Pamba if the age-old customs are diluted. The state government, which supports women’s entry to the temple, said it would take strict action against those who try to disrupt normal life.
“We don’t support any such move. We feel the temple issue should not be taken to the streets. We feel the Supreme Court will take into account the temple rituals and customs and hear all people, including the tantri (supreme priest), before taking a final decision,” said RSS leader P Gopalankutty Master.
Gopalankutty said he was forced to issue a clarification after some people misinterpreted that the Ayyappa Sena was a member of the Sangh Parivar. Many other organisations like the Nair Service Society and SNDP (an organisation of Ezhavas) also distanced from the call.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra is hearing the case and expected to deliver the verdict soon. In Sabarimala, women of reproductive age (10 to 50 age) are allowed only till Pamba, the base river camp before a 5-km arduous trek to the hill shrine begins. Women cops are deployed in Pamba to screen devotees and ask women to furnish proof of age.
The Supreme Court has been hearing a PIL filed by the Indian Young Lawyers’ Association challenging the temple practice saying it was discriminatory. While the CPI (M)-led state government supported the move to open the temple doors many others including the royal family of Pandalam, the supreme priest and the Nair Service Society opposed the move.
First Published: Jul 29, 2018 17:46 IST