It's historically secular shrine, says Kerala government

It also said that there are contentions that it was a worshipping place of the tribals and a Buddhist shrine.

Kochi: The state government on Monday told the Kerala High Court that Sabarimala shrine was historically secular and people cutting across caste and religion worship there.

It also said that there are contentions that it was a worshipping place of the tribals and a Buddhist shrine. The government made its stand clear on a petition filed by BJP leader T. G. Mohandas who wanted to prevent non-Hindus from entering the shrine.

The government pointed out that Muslims come to worship at the Vavar shrine at the Sannidhanam. They also worship Lord Ayyappa. The Ayyappa devotees also worship at the Vavar shrine at Erumely. The famed Pettah Thullal starts from Vavar shrine.

Yesudas who is a Christian but as an Ayyappa devotee, he sang the Harivarasanam that takes the Lord Ayyappa to sleep at the shrine. He also receives darshan of the deity. It is a secular shrine, said the statement filed by revenue (Devswom) additional secretary M. Harshan.

The government has also requested the court to implead Waqf Board, Muslim and other religious and tribal organisations in the case and hear their arguments.
In another petition, the state said the government had not interfered in the customs, rituals and religious affairs at Sabarimala and also does not propose to in future.

The government gave the explanatory statement to this effect on the petition filed by Chennai native T. R. Ramesh to stop the government and chief minister interfering in the day to day affairs of Sabarimala.

The government counsel also informed the court that during the Thulam month pooja and Chithira Aatta Visesham, the chief minister had ordered police to ensure security when a section protested and resorted to violence.

There was no direction to Sabarimala temple authorities. The government has a duty to protect the fundamental rights of the women devotees who desire entry since the Supreme Court has pronounced its verdict.

The court ordered notices to the state, TDB and the state police chief on another petition filed by former TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan against the stipulation of vehicle pass from local police for Sabarimala darshan and online queue system.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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