Pandalam royal family holds peaceful protest against Sabarimala verdict

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Oct 12 (ANI): Thiruvananthapuram witnessed a peaceful protest led by the Pandalam Royal Family on Friday, against the Apex Court verdict allowing women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple. The royal family, which claims to have a strong bond with Lord Ayyappa, said that if all women are allowed to enter the temple the Lord will curse devotees with bad fortune. Speaking to ANI, PG Sasikumar Varma, a Pandalam Palace representative, said, that their decades' old rituals can't be broken with latest Supreme Court's verdict. "This verdict has not only broken the beliefs of lakhs of devotees here, but from across India. We are raising our voices against the top court's verdict in order to safeguard Lord Ayyappa," he added. Another protestor, Shilpa Nair, was of the view that women who are entering the Temple are not coming to worship Lord Ayyappa but are doing so in order to break the law. "I feel women who are coming to Sabarimala Temple are not coming as devotees but just to break the rules which bar women from entering inside the temple premises. In that case, they are not educated about what the temple is of and what the Lord stands for and what are his characteristics," she added. Former Members of Kerala Legislature, V. Dinakaran also commented on the issue and said that the only the Centre can turn down the Supreme Court verdict by forming a new law pertaining to the Temple and getting it passed in the Parliament. "There is no use for filing a review petition as the judges won't change their stance. In order to resolve this matter, Centre can only do something by making a new law and getting the majority of votes on it in the during the Parliament Session," he said. The Supreme Court on September 28 held that women, irrespective of their age, have the right to enter the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala. A Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Indu Malhotra by a 4:1 majority, struck down Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 which was the basis for barring entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years to the Sabarimala temple. The celibate nature of the temple deity is cited as the reason for not allowing women of menstruating ages into the premises of the holy shrine.(ANI)
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