The Bhumata Brigade led by Trupti Desai is all set to attempt entering the famed Sabarimala shrine in January 2017, but Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran does not seem to be in favour of the idea.
Speaking to The News Minute, the Minister believes that since the matter of allowing women of all ages into the famed pilgrimage center is still sub-judice, Trupti should refrain from attempting to do so.
"Trupti Desai should not enter the temple at this point, as the case is still pending in the court. But this does not mean that the government is diverting from its stand favoring women's entry. We still maintain our stance. The LDF government has told the SC that it favours entry for women of all ages. However, as long as the rules of the temple are not changed to accommodate women as per the direction of the court, Trupti cannot enter. The various stakeholders including the government, petitioners and the Devaswom Board has apprised the court of their opinion,â€ť Kadakampally opines.
But in case of a probable law and order situation that could arise out of such an attempt -he avers- the government will surely step in.
Trupti had earlier declared to The News Minute her intention of coming to Kerala with 100 other women from Bhumata Brigade in January 2017.
â€śMenstruation is a natural process. No gods have said they consider women impure because of it. The right to pray is our constitutional right and we will come to claim it,â€ť Trupti had told TNM.
She also said that she did not see the point in waiting for the Supreme Courtâ€™s final decision in the matter before starting her campaign. â€śThe PILs will continue, but we are going as women to fight for our constitutional rights. Why should there be a delay in that,â€ť she argued.
The walk to the hill-top in Pathanamthitta where the Ayyappa temple is situated requires the devotees to be celibate, cook their own food and not wear footwear among other things for 41 days.
Trupti declared that she and the other campaigners were ready to abide by these norms and undertake the 41-day fast, as long as they are not discriminatory towards women.
Commending the LDF governmentâ€™s stance in the Supreme Court of not objecting to womenâ€™s entry in Sabarimala, Trupti is optimistic that they expect the Pinarayi government to extend wholehearted cooperation and protection to them.
The temple is managed by the Sabarimala tantri family and the Travancore Devaswom Board. Although Trupti hopes that the trustees will let them enter the temple, especially with the Haji Ali verdict to back her demand, she is determined to make the trip regardless of their decision.