RSS takes U-turn on Sabarimala verdict, says devotees’ sentiments can’t be ignored

In a complete departure from its previous stand on allowing women into Sabarimala temple, the RSS slammed the Kerala government for not filing a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict

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NH Web Desk

In a complete departure from its previous stand, welcoming the Supreme Court decision on allowing women into Sabarimala temple, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said that the sentiments of devotees, including women, can't be ignored.

RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi has slammed Kerala government for not filing a review petition against the verdict in the apex court. Calling Kerala government’s decision “unfortunate” Joshi called upon all the stakeholders to come together to address the issue.

“In the case of Sabarimala Devasthanam, it is an issue of a local temple tradition and faith, to which sentiments of millions of devotees, including women, are attached. These sentiments of the devotees cannot be ignored while considering the judgement,” said Joshi said in a statement.

It is worth recalling that two years ago in 2016, RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi had advocated women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple, saying barring women from Sabarimala made no sense even if it was in the name of a 1,000-year-old custom

“Unfortunately, the Kerala government has taken steps to implement the judgement with immediate effect without taking the sentiments of the devotees into consideration,” he added.

Justifying protests by several Hindu outfits against the SC verdict, Joshi said it was an obvious reaction to “forceful breaking of tradition”.

It is worth to recall that two years ago in 2016, Bhaiyyaji Joshi had advocated women’s entry in the temple, saying barring women from Sabarimala made no sense even if it was in the name of a thousand-year-old custom. “The RSS wants to allow all women up to the limits set for men,” Joshi had said in 2016.

The Kerala government led by the CPI (M) had already clarified that it would implement the verdict in the coming pilgrimage season itself.

Meanwhile, abiding by the Supreme Court judgement, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the Lord Ayyappa temple, also decided to make necessary arrangements for women pilgrims visiting the hill shrine when it opens for the annual pilgrimage season on October 16.

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