Sabarimala: Kerala govt's U-turn invites criticism

The severe criticism the government faced for allegedly facilitating the entry of women to the temple and the debacle it faced in the Lok Sabha polls were said to be the reason for the Vijayan government's U-turn. PTI

The change in the Kerala government's stance on Sabarimala invited criticism from a leader of the renaissance movement protection initiatives of the Pinarayi Vijayan government. Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha leader Punnala Sreekumar, who was a key leader of the initiatives, said that since the SC had not stayed last year's order lifting the ban on entry of women in the 10-50 age group, the police preventing women in this age group could not be justified.

During the last pilgrimage season, Sabarimala witnessed high voltage tension, with BJP-RSS activists and devotees resisting attempts by several women in the 10-50 age group to proceed to the temple with police protection. This occurred after the Kerala government complied with the SC order lifting the years' long restriction on women in this age group entering the temple. 

Even as the SC did not stay the order, but only referred review petitions to a larger bench, the Kerala government has changed its stance and is not allowing women in this age group entry to the temple, until a final decision on the review comes, which is not expected soon in the normal case.

The severe criticism the government faced for allegedly facilitating the entry of women in the 10-50 age group to the temple last year and the debacle it faced in the Lok Sabha polls were said to be the reason for the Pinarayi Vijayan government's U-turn.

Meanwhile, over 30 women were learned to have booked a spot on the virtual queue system for darshan at the Ayyappa temple in the coming days, while activists, including Trupti Desai, announced that they would visit the temple.

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