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Police Atrocities on Sabrimala Devotees

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Sri J. Nanda Kumar

The Supreme Court’s judgement of September 2018, permitting women of all ages to enter the Ayyappa Swami Temple at Sabarimala is contrary to the 1991 judgement of the apex court (S. Mahendran vs Travancore Devaswom Board) where in the August court protected the tradition that was being broken in this specific shrine. Till this date not a single appeal has been filed against this judgement. RSS leader Mr. J Nandkumar said that this is a unique instance in which the Supreme Court has made two contrary judgements in a specific case.

Addressing a seminar on Police Atrocities on Sabarimala Devotees organized by the Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) at The Constitution Club on November 26, 2018 Shri Nandkumar who hails from Pandalam Village where Ayyappa took birth in this yuga, said that the danger to the Hindu dharma in this case is that the Supreme Court disregarded the fact that the God is a legal entity and a minor. He said there was a danger that the wealth of the temple which belongs to the deity, could be in danger if non-believers take control of the temple.

Praising the self assertion of Hindu culture, which saw 60,000 mothers and sisters come on the roads in defense of the tradition, he said that this assertion was against persecution of Hindus in India. A serious threat is from conversions also.

Explaining the mystery of Ayyappa, he explained that Mahisha, sister of the asura Mahishasur, had received a boon that he could only be killed by the son of Shiva and Vishnu, both male gods, and hence Ayyappa was born as the son of Shiva and Vishnu in the form of Mohini. The pandiya raja who protects the temple is a Suryavanshi, whereas all other kings in Kerala are Chandravanshis.

The power of the Ayyappa panth is that it represents the unity of Hari and Hara; protects the rights of tribals who are the lieutenants of the god; pronounces the unity of all devotees who are Swami on the pilgrimage and represents emancipation of the devotees.

Shri Nandkumar lambasted the Kerala state government for harassing the devotees by preventing private vehicles from going 22 kms from Nilakkal to Pampa, from where devotees walk 4-5 kms in the forest up to the shrine. Besides atrocities on devotees such as irrational arrests and foisting of false cases to deny them bail, the police have been trying to somehow infiltrate young women of the prohibited age group into the temple in defiance of the sentiments of devotees and the established traditions of the temple.

Adv. Pragya Parande of Chetana, said that the god had been humiliated by being dragged into court, and devotees who had performed the 41 days austerities were being humiliated by hindering their access to the temple by imposing section 144. She said that in the absence of the directive from the Supreme Court, where was the hurry to implement the judgement when review petitions have been filed. She warned that this was an attack on the sanyas tradition of Hindu dharma. As many as 5000 persons have been arrested so far.

Adv. Pragya Parande

Adv. Monika Arora lamented that the Supreme Court had accepted the locus standi of petitioners who were not devotees of the temple. The court refused the accept Ayyappa as a separate sampradaya when it has distinct traditions of its own.

She said that she looked forward to the review with hope as the main question in the case is whether the lord has the right to see women only in the form of children or mothers.

The meeting concluded with the recognition that the complex geometry of ancient temples must be respected and the Feelings of devotees must be respected.

Advocate Monica Arora

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