The Devaswom board member said that any believer, irrespective of religion, should be allowed into temples.

Temple entry for non Hindus sought by Kerala Devaswom board memberTemple Pic : Binu Potti, Wikimedia
news Religion Saturday, September 09, 2017 - 15:18

A board with 'Ahindukkalkku Pravesanam Illa' (non-Hindus are not allowed) was a common feature in Kerala temples until a few years ago. Even though the boards are not commonly seen any more, the rule of not permitting people who don't belong to the Hindu faith was followed.

Now Ajay Tharayil, a Travancore Devaswom Board member has opined that non-Hindus should also be permitted in temples.

“As per the rules of the Devaswom Board, only Hindus and those who write a declaration to the temple authorities which says, ‘I declare that I am a follower of Hindu faith’ can enter the temples. But it is routine for many from other religions who also believe in Hindu worship to enter temples knowing the rule or unknowingly. So, the 1952 rule of the Devaswom board which states that only Hindus can enter the temple should be amended. Anybody who believes in deities should be allowed. Writing such a declaration is equal to religious conversion. The Devaswom board doesn’t promote conversion. I expect the support of other members and the Devaswom President to make the decision,” Ajay Tharayil wrote on his Facebook page.

However, the Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan told the media that the board alone cannot take decisions in this case.

“Discussions have to be held with temple authorities, poojaris and temple advisory committees. If they all agree to the amendments, we can go for it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said that nobody is denied entry to Kerala temples, and that anybody irrespective of religion can enter if they are believers.

“Though there are certain written norms, nobody is stopped from entering the temples irrespective of religion. All believers have the freedom to enter any of the temples of Kerala, there is no need for any discussion on it,” minister said.

 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.