Real women devotees

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Real women devotees

The Board will also consider filing a review petition in the apex court, says A. Padmakumar

Travancore Devaswom Board president A Padmakumar on Sunday said “real women devotees” of Lord Ayyappa are unlikely to visit the Sabarimala temple and only “women activists” will undertake the pilgrimage.

The Board will also consider filing a review petition in the apex court, citing the difficulties and challenges faced by it in implementing its order, he said.

Expressing disappointment over the verdict, Padmakumar said the apex court had taken into account only constitutional, fundamental and gender issues while considering the entry of women into the shrine.

The unique geographical aspects and specific circumstances at the hill temple should have also been considered, he said. “During the last annual pilgrim season, devotees had to stand in queue for over 17 continuous hours on a particular day due to the unprecedented rush,” Padmakumar told PTI.

Around 5.5 lakh devotees had been at the shrine during the last ‘Makaravilakku’ day on January 14.

“Is it possible for women to trek kilometers through the forest path and stand amongst the packed crowd?” he said. The TDB chief said the real devotees who respect the traditions and rituals of Sabarimala and know the circumstances there were not likely to visit the shrine.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from The Hindu.)

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