With the Supreme Court set to deliver its final verdict on a batch of petitions seeking re-examination of its decision to allow entry of women of all age group to the Sabarimala temple on Thursday, the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) said they will abide by the top court’s decision.
TDB is the body that looks after the administration of most temples in South Kerala districts, including Sabarimala.
At present, TDB is headed by former CPI-M legislator A Padmakumar.
“The final verdict will come tomorrow. We are duty bound to abide by the court’s ruling,” Mr Padmakumar told the media persons.
“I have full faith in the Supreme Court and whatever is the verdict, both the TDB and the government will accept it,” said Mr Padmakumar, whose three-year-term will end tomorrow.
On September 28 last year the top court allowed women of all ages to enter the temple. After the verdict, a tussel ensued between the right-wing forces, which stood guard and chased away women in the age group of 10 and 50, and the Kerala Police trying their best to see that the verdict was adhered to in letter and spirit.
The top court is now expected to give its final verdict after 64 review petitions have been filed asking the top court to ensure that traditions and culture of the temple is protected.
Meanwhile State Minister of Devasoms (the body that looks after all temples in Kerala) Kadakampally Surendran said, “Let the verdict come.”
State BJP spokesperson MT Ramesh said that he expects a verdict which will favour the believers.
“The BJP is expecting a positive verdict that will protect the temple’s tradition and culture. Should it be otherwise, other constitutional ways would be looked into,” said Mr Ramesh.
Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while campaigning in the state for the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, had assured that the Centre would make efforts to provide constitutional protection for the state’s faiths and beliefs.
In addition to mentioning the issue in its manifesto, BJP had said it would work “to secure constitutional protection on issues related to faith and belief”.
The Congress had time and again asked the BJP government to see that appropriate amendments are done to protect faith and tradition.
Meanwhile, all arrangements are in place for the two-month-long festival season of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala that opens to pilgrims on Sunday.
The Kerala Police has made routine security arrangements by posting around 2500 police officials in and around the temple complex, which has been the practice.