Kerala’s Nair Service Society opposes any change to ban on entry of women into temple

Kottayam,Kerala, June 25: Opposing any change to the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Nair Service Society (NSS), a body of Kerala’s influential Hindu Nair community, today urged CPI(M)-led LDF government to take steps to protect the custom and tradition of the hill shrine.

A resolution to this effect was passed at the NSS’ annual conference at its headquarters in Changanacherry near here.It said the restriction on women’s entry was part of custom and tradition of the shrine and it should be continued.

The resolution, a copy of which was released to media, also noted that the rituals of the temple and the presiding deity Lord Ayyappa, who is considered to be “perennial celibate” (Naishtika Brahmachari), have been practised for hundreds of years.

Certain customs and traditions, including restriction imposed on women between the age group of 10 and 50 from trekking the holy hills of Sabarimala and offering worship at the temple, have to be followed while visiting the shrine.

Considering these aspects, it was the responsibility of the state government and the Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple, to convince the Supreme Court about the customs and tradition of the temple in the case filed by Young Lawyers’ Association questioning the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age group, the resolution said.

State Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had recently said the LDF government would not take any decision that would hurt anybody on the issue of entry of women of menstrual age into the Ayyappa temple.

NSS also attacked the LDF government for its decision to dissolve the Devaswom Recruitment Board and entrust the job to the state-run Public Service Commission.

It said there was a need for the board for recruiting employees for various Devaswom boards in the state.

State Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had recently said there was no need for a separate devaswom recruitment board and PSC would make appointments after meeting all necessary formalities and procedures.

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