Thiruvananthapuram: MM Mani, the minister of power in Kerala, slammed the Pandalam royal family after their announcement stating that the Sabarimala temple should be closed if any women in the menstruating age group enter it. The minister said that the royal family are not able to realise that the times of monarchy are over. “It is not their rule now. It is the rule of democracy,” he said.

Two women on Friday (October 19) were on the verge of climbing the final 18 steps to the shrine, but the tantri (chief priest) reportedly said that the temple would be closed before they enter. Reacting to this issue, the minister said, “The Sabarimala tantris are saying that they would close the temple. The tantris are wrong, do you know why? Because tantri is a paid employee,” he added.

The Pandalam Palace Trust had previously written a letter to the administrative and executive officers of Sabarimala temple, asking the tantri to close the shrine in case any of the rituals were affected. This meant that they wanted the tantri to shut the temple in case women between the age of 10 and 50 attempt to enter the temple. The Pandalam family administrative committee president Sasikumara Varma said that the government is somehow trying to let women enter Sabarimala and thereby taint the temple. 

Just a day ago, minister G Sudhakaran too spoke against the tantri’s stand. “The tantri says that the temple would be shut, and that he would give the key and go away. What you hear is the sound of bells ringing during the fall of Kerala’s feudal system.”

He also added that those who wish to enter the temple would enter, and the others needn’t. “That is their choice. There is no Hindu, Christian or Muslim there. It is a place where all are welcome. That is the prominence of Sabarimala,” Sudhakaran said. 


Also read: Sabarimala not a place for activism or one-upmanship, from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to Sadhguru, spiritual guides concur