Sabarimala: TDB between devil and deep sea

Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore Devaswom Board is caught bet-ween the devil and the deep sea as the Sabarimala temple opens for poojas of Thulam month on Wednesday evening. On the one hand, the TDB has to implement the Supreme Court order allowing women of all age groups to enter the temple and on the other there is stiff opposition to it from devotees as well as political parties, including the BJP.

Women protestors have gathered in strength at Nilakkal and Pampa to block the entry of young women. 

TDB member K. P. Sankaradas, who was on his way to Sabarimala after attending the conciliatory meeting, said, “we have to implement the Supreme Court verdict when the shrine opens for pooja on Wednesday evening. But the High Court has also demanded to know the steps taken by the TDB to implement the SC verdict,” he said.

The TDB had not given a new affidavit before the Supreme Court except the one submitted in 2007. The board members say that a solution can be found only legally.

With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reiterating that the government will not file a review petition, it is clear that it will implement the Supreme Court verdict.

Former TDB president G. Raman Nair fears a grave situation ahead at Sabarimala with the number of protestors increasing at Nilakkal, Pampa and adjoining areas. Mr Raman Nair was appointed during the UDF government’s tenure in 2007 when `80 crore was allocated in the state budget for Sabarimala development. 

“Time is crucial. I don’t know what will be the outcome of the board meeting on Friday,” said Mr Raman Nair.

Mr Sankaradas also said that Friday’s board meeting would discuss the demand by the Pandalam palace coordination committee and other stakeholders of Sabarimala to seek more time from the Supreme Court in implementing the verdict when it reopens on Monday.

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