New Delhi:  The new Christian face of BJP hailing from Kerala, Tom Vadakkan, spoke his heart out on the issue of Sabarimala. In what has become the most polarising issue in Kerala, Vadakkan didn’t mince his words in supporting tradition over the court ban. He went a step further to say, when the state or the court intervene beliefs, ‘it can be questioned’. Vadakkan assured that even the Church is for the Sabarimala tradition. The ban brought the state to a halt and violence erupted between the police and the pro-tradition section of Lord Ayappa's followers. 

Vadakkan said, " As long as (the) practice is going on whether it's the Hindu community, Christian community, Muslim long as they are practising, the constitution protects them. And if you create a situation that threatens their belief, their faith, I think the state's intervention or the court's intervention sometimes can be questioned. I think that's what has happened there".

Vadakkan lashed out at the party he was associated with for more than two decades by saying, “The Congress' state unit has a stand, and the central unit has another stand on this issue. But it is only the BJP which has singularly stood beside the followers”. Vadakkan added, "The issue is that of faith. The church also said this, look on faith there has to be no compromise. And they should be permitted in what they believe."

Women of menstruating age were denied entry into the Sabarimala temple until the apex court came down heavily on the tradition, irking many devotees. On September 28, 2018, the Supreme Court of India, in a 4-1 majority decision, overturned the ban on the entry of women. 

This led to protests at Nilakkal and Pamba base camps on October 17, 2018, when the temple was opened for the first time after the Supreme Court verdict. 

Lord Ayyappa devotees all over Kerala, and also in other southern states of India — Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh and Karnataka — protested against the entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in Sabarimala. The protestors were mainly women devotees. 

On 26 December 2018, devotees conducted Ayyappa Jyothi, where they lit diyas or lamps all across the state of Kerala, as a protest against young women's entry in the temple. Close to a million devotees participated in the event.