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TDB Chief’s Statement Insult to Women, Says Devaswom Minister

Thiruvananthapuram:  The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president Prayar Gopalakrishnan’s statement that respectable women would not climb the Sabarimala even if the court lifted the ban on entry of women to the shrine has come in for scathing criticism from the Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

Lambasting the TDB chief’s statement, the Minister said that Prayar Gopalakrishnan has insulted women and Ayyappa devotees , and called for an apology.

TDB chief Prayar Gopalakrishnan had, yesterday, welcomed the Supreme Court decision to refer the matter relating to the ban on entry of women between 10 to 50 years of age to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, to the Constitution Bench, and added that the Board was of the view that the restriction on entry of women to the shrine should continue. The TDB president had also gone to the extent of saying that “we will not allow Sabarimala to become Thailand.”

Such a statement was akin to insulting the women and devotees, Kadakampally Surendran opined.  The Minister also said that the CPM-led LDF government in the state believed that there should not be gender-based discrimination for temple entry. He added that it would abide by the court ruling.