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Sabarimala returns to normality

Govt, BJP see High Court verdict vindication of their stand

Sabarimala which has been witnessing protests following the Supreme Court verdict permitting entry for women of all age groups into the Ayyappa temple is returning to normality.

Credit for this could be attributed to the Kerala High Court which has taken strong exception to the avoidable restrictions imposed by the police at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam and also to making it a venue of protests in the name of women’s entry.

Escape route

The High Court verdict has opened a convenient escape route for both the State government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which have crossed swords over the issue.

The BJP which has been spearheading the agitation launched by various Hindu organisations seeking to protect the custom and practices at the Ayyappa temple appears to have decided to scale down the stir, propping up the court order as one favouring Ayyappa devotees. The government has taken a position that the court maintaining an unambiguous stand that there should not be any protests at Sabarimala is in line with its stand.

It seems that the government has shed its rigid stand on the issue.

As per indications, the government is unlikely to encourage women of child-bearing age to visit Sabarimala as it would further antagonise the majority community. Many analysts are of the opinion that the Left Democratic Front government is unlikely to venture into any sort of political misadventure, especially when the Parliament polls are round the corner.

March plan cancelled

The BJP has cancelled its plan to take out a massive march at Nilackal protesting against the alleged police high-handedness at Sabarimala and at its base camps.

There were also reports that the State and the TDB preferred a lean pilgrim inflow to Sabarimala against the backdrop of the grossly inadequate basic pilgrim amenity at the flood-ravaged Pampa Manalpuram and at the Nilackal base camp.

Meanwhile, the temple has been witnessing improved pilgrim inflow for the past three days.

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