Shortly after the Kerala state government announced that it won't file a review petition challenging the Supreme Court order which permits women from entering Sabarimala Temple, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) too said it would not challenge the order.
In what was seen as a major win for women activists fighting to gain entry into the holy temple in Kerala, the Supreme Court last week had said that a woman has as much right to pray as a man. The eventual order which permitted women of any age to enter the Sabarimala temple was questioned by the TDB which had been relentless in its defence of the age-old tradition of barring women between 10 and 50 from the temple. On Thursday though, the defence may have all but ended. The decision not to challenge the SC order was announced by TDB president A Padmakumar.
Earlier in the day, news agency ANI had quoted Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as saying, ''Kerala government will not file a review petition on the Sabarimala verdict. We will ensure facilities and protection to women devotees visiting the Sabarimala temple.''
While the state government has made several U-turns in its support for women to gain entry into the temple, TDB has been vehemently against the idea and even now maintains that real women devotees of Lord Aiyappa will continue to respect the reason why they should not enter the temple. Women in menstrual age bracket are 'believed to be impure' and hence have been forbidden entry thus far. Not anymore, however.