BJP’s TG Mohandas had approached the Kerala High Court seeking a declaration that permitting the entry of non-Hindus violates the Sabarimala temple rules.

Sabarimala is for all Kerala HC observes on BJP mans plea seeking ban on non-Hindus
news Court Monday, October 29, 2018 - 16:05

The Kerala High Court on Monday observed that Sabarimala is for all while hearing a plea by BJP ‘Intellectual Cell’ state convener TG Mohandas, who sought a ban on the entry of non-Hindus from entering Sabarimala shrine. 

In his petition filed on October 25, Mohandas sought a court declaration which would state that permitting the entry of non-Hindu women and non-idol worshippers into Sannidhanam violated Rule 3 of the Kerala Places of Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Act, 1965, given that the Supreme Court’s ruling only allowed the entry of Hindu women into the shrine. He also demanded an independent investigation into the alleged attempt by police to permit “non-idol-worshippers” and non-Hindu women to enter the shrine. 

While hearing his plea, the Division Bench comprising of Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Devan Ramachandran orally observed that Sabarimala temple is for everyone, and that people of many faiths had a right over its rituals and traditions. It further stated that even those who did not carry the irumudikettu (bag of holy offerings carried on the head of Sabarimala devotees) could enter Sabarimala temple. It said that the irumudikettu was a requirement only to climb the pathinetampadi (or 18 stairs), and that those who were not carrying it, possibly meaning non-Hindus, could use another entrance door situated directly opposite to the 18 steps, which the court said was a customary practice that was already in place. 

The court also stated that Sabarimala was a place that held the spirit of Vavar, a figure with great religious significance to Muslims.

The High Court has posted the matter for hearing in two weeks and has also sought the state and Travancore Devaswom Board’s response.

Mohandas’ plea was presumably a reaction to model-turned-activist Rehana Fathima being accompanied by Kerala police up to the shrine on October 19 after the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the temple, putting an end to the ban on women between the ages of 10 to 50 years from entering Sabarimala temple. 

 

 

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