Thiruvananthapuram, October 15: Days after the Supreme Court issued a landmark verdict allowing female devotees to visit the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala, the temple authorities have expressed their inability to implement the apex court's order.
With only two days remaining for the Travancore Devaswom Board - which administers the hilltop shrine - to open the gates for women devotees, the body is reportedly mulling over approaching the top court, seeking more time to implement its order. Sabarimala Board to Hold Meeting Tomorrow Ahead of Temple Reopening; Priests, Royal Family Invited.
The board has also seen division in its ranks with some disgruntled members marking dissent against the decision to not to challenge the Supreme Court order allowing women aged between 10 to 50 to enter the temple.
As per the existing rule, women of menstruating age are barred from entering the shrine. The norm is based on the belief that it would infuriate Lord Ayyappa, who kept away from female devotees in his lifetime.
The apex court, however, ruled that keeping a woman out of shrine for physiological, biological or gender purposes is "unconstitutional".
Meanwhile, an agitation is underway in Kerala for the last six days, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protesting the state government's decision to not to contest the Supreme Court's order.
BJP’s state unit chief PS Sreedharan Pillai said Vijayan should appeal against the top court verdict at the earliest, else he may have to resign in the near future. "This agitation will turn into a massive statewide protest if the CPM government fails to act," he said, further adding that "communists and atheists are plotting to destroy the Sabarimala temple".