State Government should not take unilateral decisions on Sabarimala pilgrimage : Hindu groups

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) – A fortnight is left for the auspicious Sabarimala pilgrimage season to begin from 16th November; various Hindu organisations have come up with strong objections to decisions taken by the State Government over the entry of devotees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hindu organisations supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are of the view that a final decision on permitting the devotees should be taken only after consulting various concerned including the head priests, Pandalam Royal family members, Hindu organisations and devotee service organisations. In a video conferencing meet attended by the heads of various Hindu organisations, SJR Kumar, National General Secretary of the All India Sabarimala Action Council said, “The State Government should not take just the views of the Minister concerned and the bureaucrats by forming a committee, as such a move is unconstitutional. Secretaries who are currently designated have no connections with the daily affairs of the Temple”.

He added, “In decisions concerning other religions, the State Government made sure that their representatives were taken into confidence where they were given the freedom to choose their customs. However, when it comes to Hindu temple affairs, the State Government takes unilateral decisions. This is totally unconstitutional and an anti-Hindu approach by a democratically elected Government”.

Most members in the discussion were of the view that with the coronavirus cases surging, the Government should maximise efforts to discourage the arrival of Ayyappa devotees during the current season as the gathering of thousands in the temple premises could pose health hazards.

The Government should also consider conducting essential rituals in a way that the sanctity of the temple is not affected.