Sabarimala entry row 'purely political': Swami Sandeepananda Giri
Sabarimala issue is purely political, says Sandeepananda Giri Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 2 (PTI):
Swami Sandeepananda Giri, whose ashram was attacked earlier this week after he hailed the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala, Friday said the current issue over the hill shrine was "purely political". Sandeepananda Giri's Salagramam ashram at nearby Kudamonkadavu was attacked early on October 26 by unidentified persons. "The Supreme Court has ensured that women have equal rights as that of men. The present issue related to Sabarimala is purely political," he said.
In a 'meet the press' programme organised by the Press Club here, Sandeepananda Giri said that during one of the many 'devaprasnam' (astrological consultation to know God's will), it was seen that some jewellery, including diamonds, from the 'thiruvabharanam' (sacred ornaments of Lord Ayyappa), has gone missing and sought an investigation into the matter. "Whoever is the custodian of the thiruvabharanam is responsible for the loss of the ornaments. Not devaprashnam, but an investigation is required into the matter," he said.
He also sought restoration of the rights of the Mala Araya community, who have alleged that their right to offer prayers and conduct rituals at the Sabarimala temple has been taken away. Earlier the community had decided to move the top court against the decision of the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the hill shrine, to oust them from the temple after the board was formed in 1950. Kerala had witnessed widespread protests by devotees after the state government made it clear that it was bound to implement the top court's verdict on the entry of women of all ages into the temple.
The shrine had witnessed high drama after around a dozen women in the 10-50 age group were prevented by protesting devotees from entering it after the temple doors were opened for monthly pujas between October 17 and 22.
(With inputs from agencies.)