Awful religious practices need to be abolished. But by social and political reformers, not courts.

The Hindutva leaders in Kerala must be daft. Or gifted with a wickedly brilliant sense of humour. Why else would they protest against the Supreme Court’s order to allow the entry of all women – including those in the menstruating age of 10 to 50 years –into the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa, the son of Lord Shiva and Mohini, the female manifestation of Lord Vishnu? Instead, they should be sending the judges bouquets and blessings.

Because, with one 4-1 constitution bench order, however well-meaning, the Supreme Court has gifted Hindutva something two generations of RSS-Jana Sangh-BJP leaders had failed at: Creating a base, a political justification to grow in Kerala. This court has brought them to their last frontier.

Last frontier, because in Tamil Nadu, any of the two contending parties, DMK and AIADMK, can partner BJP in a coalition. It is only in Kerala that both of the rival coalitions — LDF with the CPI(M) and UDF with the Congress — detest the BJP equally. The RSS has been fighting for a foot-hold, and its activists have been caught in a murderous blood-feud with those of the Left. Yet, barring the constituency of Thiruvananthapuram, where it came close to surprising Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, it was unable to build a Hindu vote.

This court order has given Kerala, and the RSS/BJP, their first issue over Hindu sentiment. Can they exploit it to build a mass appeal, or will the redoubtable Malayali scepticism see through it? You will need to talk to people more knowledgeable about Kerala’s unique politics. What you can see, however, is that the Hindutva forces have seen an opening. The RSS and its affiliates have rallied women workers from all over the region and beyond—not just Kerala—to build this furious protest in Sabarimala. If many of these women seem to speak Hindi with Sanskritised purity and diction, you know they’ve been schooled in the RSS system. They are in Kerala in force now, and why should they not be there? Politics and democratic competition can’t just be confined to one Left and the other to the left of this Left. Welcome the Hindu Right in Kerala. And thank you so very much, Your Libertarian Lordships.

Sabarimala is a lesson in how unintended consequences can follow an intervention by an all-powerful institution which clinically applies principles of law and Constitution—or as it interprets them—even to issues of faith. Such an application would have to presume that faith, any faith, is rational. That’s a tough one.


Also read: I oppose Sabarimala verdict because this is not about women’s discrimination at all


Is the idea of divine avatars rational? Or hundreds of manifestations of the same God or Goddess? It can get so complex that even the handlers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media end up describing Kali as Goddess Durga. Of course, She won’t mind, and in any case, it is the same Goddess. But can you produce a peer-reviewed research paper backing the idea of multiple manifestations of any divine figure? Or virgin birth? Or a God, namely Ayyappa, born out of the union of Shiva and Mohini? Or Resurrection? Will a court ask for evidence if the Holy Quran was actually Allah’s word to the Prophet? Or the many tribal faiths, animism, worship of the sun and the moon, the customs of sacrifice?

We are a complex society where countless faiths, beliefs and customs co-exist. Where somebody paints a little lime or saffron on a tree or a rock, or puts a few asbestos sheets over an abandoned grave, and countless start praying to it. Will the courts entertain questions about these? Can a Christian woman approach the Supreme Court asking to order the Catholic faith to give women equal rights and positions in their clergy? A UPSC-style body to select Christian priests? Can a Hindu woman ask that the judges order the RSS that women should be admitted to its highest all-male counsels. It will be wonderful to see a woman heading RSS, a ‘Sarsanghchalika’, and who knows, it may happen someday. It would never happen on any court’s orders, you can be sure.

The reason we are able to co-exist, mostly peacefully, is that as a people, we Indians let our neighbours be. And as a state, by and large, we have been minimally invasive on issues of faith. The Hindu Code Bills followed enormous debate and still remain contentious. I say with great humility that the reform in Hindu personal laws and customs that Jawaharlal Nehru brought in through parliamentary debate and majority, the finest Supreme Court benches over generations would not have been able to.

The Shah Bano judgement was overturned by Parliament. The same court has now proclaimed triple talaq illegal and, because the politics of the ruling party today is different, it is making it a criminal offence. But do you really see police in our various states entering households, arresting and prosecuting people? The mayhem it will cause in an already insecure community that finds itself under siege? Triple talaq is a terrible, medieval idea. Many Islamic countries and societies have dumped it. Indian Muslims should do it too. But the impetus must come from reform within, not from a police armed with criminal law sanctified by a “liberal” court.

We understand the justification behind the order on Sabarimala, that this was about individual liberty. How can you deny women the right to pray to their favourite deity just because they are in the fertile age group and may distract the Virgin Him with their sexuality? Good point, and you struck a blow for equality, to glowing praises from editorialists and prime-time, rent-a-quote activists who have meanwhile moved on to the next cause.

Is there one research paper or a public debate on unimplementable court orders? We’ve long had one oft-repeated court order, making helmets compulsory for all women riding two-wheelers, irrespective of faith, again overruled in the face of protests by Sikhs. On the quiet, however, more and more sensible Sikh women are using helmets and mobs aren’t stopping them. I do not believe you will find Gul Panag, who loves biking, ever without a good helmet. She didn’t need a court order, nor does she need to bother about conservative prohibitions. More and more Sikh women are doing it, out of good sense, not compulsion.

The court is now dealing with female genital mutilation among some Muslim sects. The court can outlaw it, but can it implement that order? I promise you that even the BJP-run states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, where most of this sect lives, will refuse to get their police to prosecute people for FGM. You know what, politicians are sometimes smarter than judges. Even Narendra Modi and his government, so outraged over triple talaq, are mum on FGM. The PM actively courts the Bohra Syedna and his clergy. Remember also, that Supreme Court stayed its own 40-year-old order on a Shia-Sunni dispute over a Varanasi graveyard because the state government said it was unimplementable.


Also read: Why Muslim women will blame Congress for no progress on the triple talaq bill


The danger with an unconventional view on any contentious issue, anything other than the missionary position (sorry about this!), on a principle of political correctness is bound to be misconstrued. So, I must, must idiot-proof this again. Should women not be allowed in Sabarimala? My answer is, they absolutely must be allowed. Should Sikh women go vrooming around on motorcycles without helmets? The answer is a firm no. Triple talaq? It is an awful injustice to Muslim women, just as FGM is an abomination. All these need to go. But leave it to social and political reformers from within.

Can you fix it all, purely through judicial intervention? My answer would still be a respectful, but determined, no. Unintended consequences will follow. Like the court, in the quest for the perfect world, ushering BJP into Kerala, with a cause that is as political as it might be moral or spiritual.

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  1. A few things stand out in Sabarimala debate. First it is a political issue and not a religious issue any more. Why else Rehanna Fathima and Mary Sweety will try to enter Ayappa temple? Isn’t idol worship is not allowed in Islam and Christianity? Is this an attempt by left government to subdue and walk over Hindu religious belief system in whatever means they can? It has been said again and again that entry into sanctum sanctorium of Lord Ayappa is not a discrimination. There are other temples of Ayappa where women are allowed. In his Sabarimala abode, Ayappa is a celibate avatar. Ayappa is a manifestation of a consciousness that is believed to be alive and awake. If Ayappa does not want certain devotees to visit, that decision should be respected. This has nothing to do with discrimination or sexism. It is like you don’t want me to visit your place. I need to respect the decision.

    • If Ayappa does not want certain devotees to visit, that decision should be respected.

      OK sirjee, please explain when and where Ayyappa exclaimed menstruating women should not visit me.

      • All religious matters are based on such mythical stories… will you have the balls to ask the same thing to a fanatical Islamist with a suicide vest?

  2. This rhetoric of blaming the courts and not a single word of condemnation for right wing politics of defying even Supreme court orders for gaining votes is as worthy of disdain as the right wing politics itself. If you remember correctly, even as undisputable a court decision as the one on Padmavat’s screening was defied by right wing politics for votes.

    So, how long should you wait for all these reforms to happen, from within? Why SC shouldn’t provide the trigger when opportunity arose out of a legitimate court case? What should the court say to the petitioner in such cases: that we are not here to adjudicate on such issues?

    I hail the court for the decision, even if it is difficult to implement and denounce the politics and writers like you for the negative attitude.

  3. We the masses are unwashed where as the Uber liberal judges are brainwashed with leftism, Constitution is an arse, the culprits are politicians.

  4. I am afraid that un-implementability cannot be allowed to be a ground of non-justice-ability. If court give in to that, I can bet that a lot of issues will suddenly become ‘un-implementable’! If one person affected by triple talaq wishes to take recourse, she now has a right and ground to do that-even if 99% of other similar women are not interested. Law is for ‘unto the last’.

  5. Fix it all? Even attempts to fix it all will take not just hundreds of years, but thousands of years. The author has to realise that in situations involving SC/St as they are a big vote bank and volatile group things will fix on its own. But the issue of women will not because they do not have a political party or people to riot and burn India.
    Why is Hinduism very slow to convince people they can folow any ritual but they have to try to understand dharma, just because Hinduism does not have everything simple and straightforward , doesnt mean a lot of its simple truths cannot be taught to masses.

  6. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist,Barnala(Punjab)

    The topic in question ” Supreme Court cannot become the priest……..” chosen by Mr.Shekhar Gupta for this week end’s “National Interest ” column is quite informative,thought-provoking and multi-dimensional so far as subtle and objective parleys are concerned !

    When Mr. Gupta asserts that the apex court should not play the role of priest where the religious issue of faith-harmony-union of human beings and gods is under either the scanner or scrutiny ! This assertion indeed reminds me of a celebrated English author and journalist A.G.Gardiner who in his remarkable prose piece “On Saying Please ” expresses identical views . Gardiner is of the conviction very aptly putting forth his enlightened thoughts in this fashion : ” …., but no legal system could attempt to legislate against bad manners, or could sanction the use of violence against something which it does not itself recognise as a legally punishable offence ” Up to this extent, the National Interest writer is justified that the apex court should not intervene in matters of “Awful religious practices ” He is strongly in favour of social and political reformers to come to the rescue of nation and society playing their roles !

    In this context, we should bear in mind that we are passing through a very crucial phase of churning and transition because of the
    pell-mell staring the nation in different walks of life !

    In an era of self-centredness, greed, megalomania, falsehood,lust for power-pelf-populism, would not it be very difficult to find selfless, devoted and dedicated social and political reformers even by holding candle and torch lights in the broad day light ?

    Now when social and political reformers are running away from their duties escaping their responsibilities where is the harm if the apex court has made an attempt to resolve a question mark put before it ? The apex court did not come into picture of its own taking a suo moto notice of the riddle under the cloud ! Had it remained silent even then fingers would have been raised why the apex court did not resolve the problem ?

    There is a soul- searching question why the social and political reformers had been found wanting and sleeping over this sensitive issue for so long ? Moreover, media and academia should shun seeing and analysing every issue through ” coloured glasses and a political spectrum” !

    The honorable apex court and the author deserve kudos for updating the know how and knowledge of the countrymen ragarding the fact that there is a Sabarimala Temple in the most literate state of Kerala in India with its interesting and mythological background bringing into the lime light manifestations of divine figures -Lord Shiva,Mohini and Ayyappa !

    I do see eye to eye with the writer that there should be research and free debate on the issue of unimplementable court orders- use of helmets by sikh women, FGM and Triple talaq issues ! A lot many more such issues too should be worthy of our attention and notice !

    All in all, if social-political reformers remained mute and blind spectators and in addition to this most literate state of India’s citizens failed to find an amicable solution to this sublime issue of religious faith, then why should not the apex court be patted for stirring the conscience of the countrymen irrespective of the fate of compliance of its orders either in a positive or negative manner ?

    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala(Punjab)

  7. Only an upper-caste man could have written such a dishonest and disinegenuous piece. If reform takes five thousand years, then are women to patiently and cheerfully endure humiliation because of physiological process beyond their control.
    Shekhar Gupta has never menstruated, so he doesn’t understand the deep humiliation and dehumanisation arising from centuries of discrimination and contempt towards female sexuality and physicality.

    Suggestion to pious Hindu men: If you believe that menstruation causes women to become “impure”, then don’t touch us, have sex with us or live with us. Why don’t all of you permanently reside in Sabarimala with your celibate god? Why do it only for 41 days? Do it for a lifetime.

    Of course, that’s where the hypocrisy comes in. The very men who shun women in Sabarimala want to have sex with women after the 41 days are over. Have my cake and eat it too. Have sex for 324 days, and pretend to be a “pious celibate” for a mere 41 days. and congratulate yourself on your “self-control” and superiority to women.

    Women to need to go to temples to exercise sexual self-control. We do it as part of our daily lives, without so much self-congratulatory fuss, hysterics, and drama — “Look at meee. I am so pious and superior. I am off sex for a full 41 days.”

    Men and their amusing self-delusions

  8. Why BJP and RSS try to criminalised triple talak as this is related to religion let Muslims handle or Warf board handle this issue since it came on Hindus women right for sabrimalla temple entry now BJP with extra wise men’s like Ravi , Swamy ect are hiding behind , also mosque is a place of worship for muslims people court should not decide the place of worship for Muslims.sunni wafk board should remain firm on mosque issue our Constitution give us right to follow our religion .

    • Sabarimala bar on entry of fecund women (10-50 years d) issue is specific to just one temple keeping in view the rights of Presiding deity Swami Ayyappas, who is a life long celibate. It is not about women, it is about deoty’s rights. Secondly TT is an universal denial of basic human, social and legal rights to all Muslim women. Drawing parallels between two issues is nothing but a feeble attempt at false equivalency. A microscopic issue like Sabarimala should not be used as an excuse for hiding a larger issues like TT and FGM under a carpet.

  9. It needed an innocent boy to declare — “THE EMPEROR IS NUDE”.

    It requires an INNOCENT HINDU to declare that the JUDGES who delivered this — ” to enter Saari mala Temple is women’s Fundamental Right ” — are ASSHOLES

    { *INNOCENT HINDU = Those who do not to fall for the left , liberal , secular, Islamist , ultra modern , NGO , , feminist Rhetoric , that is based on a lie and a lie and a lie* }

  10. NATIONAL INTEREST ON SABRIMALA TEMPLE ISSUE
    Do you mean that constitution do not have jurisdiction in the sabrimala temple. All of the country comes under the constitutional jurisdiction. Biggest fact is that the top court have not interfered by itself, it has been petitioned by somebody who believe that “their right, protected by law, is being violated” when these women are not allowed to enter the temple.
    Few decades ago “sati” was also a question of faith , but was banned by the law. ‘A religious faith should also be in agreement with modern day law’. That is why the society’s basic structure have not been broken down which happen in a communist structure as our’s was a evolutionary system—where we have thought about evolving organically. This is a step in that organic evolution.
    The baba in haryana used to say that I am god and like krishna can have multiple wives—this was the argument used by the baba to justify his rape to the victim. Similar logic in case of muslims who say they can have multiple wives [triple talak] as it is written in their religious text. But these are the same muslim woman who was objected to this age old practice.
    This is different to questioning other religious faiths [like avatars etc] as this particular issue involve humans and their rights.
    Yes the issue can be resolved by talks and trying to talk to the people who oppose it……………
    I think the SCI did the right thing by giving its decision as it is to interpret the constitution and law which it interpreted rightly…….

  11. First the court should have applied common sense before allowing the petition to be admitted for trial – suppose a girl approaches the court with a plea to direct the management of a boys school to give her admission in their school on grounds of denial of gender equality or denial of fundamental rights – will it it be admitted or summarily dismissed – The high court of kerala which is more familiar with the ground reality had long back gone into this question and came up with an unequivocal order to maintain status quo -The learned judges of supreme court should have shown the poise and sagacity shown by the dissenting justice Indu Malhothra in this issue- Most left liberal intellectuals who welcomed this judgement as a progressive step were left wondering on watching the spontaneous eruption of revolt against this order by the womenfolk of kerala. In every nook and corner of kerala there were processions of large number of women in their thousands chanting ayyappa -most of them taking part in a public procession for the first time in their lives- The reality is that no real devotee of ayyappa would come forward to break the tradition -by the very nature of the belief system if any woman comes forward to break the tradition that very willingness would be seen as a sign of non belief in the eyes of the devotees -in fact the tradition is not against women per se – the temple allows women but there is an age restriction as the diety is supposed to be of the naishtika brahmachari form women of menstruationg age -taken roughly as 10 to 50 – are not allowed to enter- but then there are hundreds of ayyappa temples all over kerala where there is no such restrictions and the female devotess can offer prayers . If the supreme court verdict is to be implemented , to avoid desecration the diety will have to undergo a punaprathishta that would make it same like at other ayyappa temples – thus losing the uniqueness of sabarimala – what the court has ordered in effect is to deny the right of ayyappa devotees to worship him in the form of naishtika brahmachari – that is why there was such a spontaneous eruption of anger and revolt on the part of devotees against this court order- each and every institution has its own codes of conduct and court should have exercised commonsense not to interfere with the code of conduct of one place of worship – for that matter there are many temples where only females are allowed and the question of gender equality or fundamental rights do not come up in all those cases. In fact just before delivering this verdict the question of article 35 came up supreme court chose to postpone the issue fearing repurcussions – but that was issue addressing an important question whether Indian constitution is applicable to all territories under the Union of India- instead of taking a firm decision on such vital questions court chose to verify the constitutional validity of the tradition of entry of women of mentruating age in one temple in the country that boasts of thousands of temples with diverse customs and traditions

  12. The fact that I am against Supreme court order on Sabarimala doesn’t automatically translate to votes for BJP, We are not idiots and can recognize opportunity politics. Standing in front of a crowd of protesters do not make you a leader.

  13. One commenter has said, “if Ayappa does not want…” Who told him what Ayappa wants or does not want? Has any writing from the God been discovered anywhere? It’s all a conspiracy of priests of present and past. God is our father; does a girl child not sit on her father’s lap? Does a woman not hug her father in every season and mood? Does the father ever object?

    Self-righteous people are on a rampage ever since the BJP has come to power. They flood into police stations and beat up the SHO. No one questions them. They barge into an IPS officer’s house and threaten his wife. No one questions them. Now it’s the turn of the Supreme Court, it looks like.

    I am sure Lord Ayappa is not happy with all this. His priests may be, that’s a different matter.

  14. Like always this analysis comes in the wake of the fact that BJP is gaining and nothing else and obviously like any left liberal logic it is pure binary and has no shade of specifics. Problems like Sati, Triple Talaq , Child marriages are problems related to life of an individual so these need to be addressed through law because that is the prime reason we have a republic. Issues like Women not allowed to enter Sabrimala is purely an issue of autonomy. Temples are not parks where anyone can walk or enter. They belong to their devotees and Practicioners so they will decide the rules not the court or the govt. Its a misconception that temples or any religious institute belongs to public, no it doesn’t it belongs to its devotees. No one has any right to interfere unless someones life is getting impacted. Hindus are not allowed inside masjid, it may be wrong but it doesn’t impact anyones life, so its the decision of the islamic clerks. I may spread awareness that all religions are equal etc but enforcing any such thing is stupid because it will obviously lead to riots and animosity.
    So regardless of the fact that what one feels about sabrimala, court has no right to interfere in matters of faith. In case of triple talaq, helmets etc life is envolved so the law of the land will prevail. Leave Sabrimala Alone.

  15. To enter Sabarimala you are to observe41days of celebacy and other related practices like going to temple bare foot in the morning and evening. Women during the periods will not be able to do this to make them prepared to take on the power of diety of Sabarimala. If they are not prepared like that it can harm them instead of bless them. Spiritual principles are difficult to understand. Most people even before undertanding start arguing. The only way to understand spiritual principle is to meditate deeply. Also note that Jesus is a shepherd and Krishna is a cowherd but Ayyappa is a tiger tamer. So if you without proper preparation you can harm yorself.

  16. I’d been thinking deeply about this and have been reading multiple articles and comments trying to understand what exactly the issue is. What i have understood for sure is that
    1. There is clearly a political strategy in having steered this issue up.

    2. Common people are being used for this political strategy, by over exaggerating religious sentiments.

    3. Yes women aren’t to be denied their right to worship the diety. I have also read that the BJP were always in favor this verdict, at this point in time using this Sabarimala incident as a tool to nail a mark in kerala.

    4. Let’s say all this gies well, it would still be chaos if men and women are let in together. Our community still haven’t evolved to not take advantage of the crowded Sabarimala premises to grope of misbehave. Leading to more issues. So even if this verdict is to set foot, there has to be proper direction of men and women traffic.

    5. Finally there are greater causes that needs our attention. Automatically when the attention dissolves, the mess will also stir down.

  17. Indian written constitution is not a holy book, and do not contain “messages” from God unlike say Koran or the Bible. It only codifies Indian Laws, which is amendable, on the basis of the fundamental modern notion – of a “republic”, a “democracy” and “humanism” – to safeguard human lives, and to ensure law is same for all, irrespective of gender,race,caste, place of birth or religion or any physical or imaginary differences.
    Our courts, or our society at large have no jurisdiction over our personal lives, personal faiths, personal sexual preferences, personal food habits and the very question of what is God and how individuals had imagined the notion – until it is in conflict with the very foundation of the constitution – a human right violation.

    A huge section of temples in India (particularly tribal, tantric temples, if not all) are like a club, unlike a Mosque or a church or a Gurudwara or even a orthodox Hindu temple. For example, the fan-club of Amitabh Bachchan can build a temple on his name, make him the presiding deity, and allow only 6 feet plus tall male as its members. It is clearly not a human-right violation, to deny others entry into such fan-club temple. Temple deities are not the universal almighty God that we imagine they are, particularly when we compare them with other align traditions – say an Allah or Jesus’s Father.
    In any-case the equivalent Almighty God in Hindu notion is not a Shiva or Vishnu or Brahma, not million other local deities we see around – but “almost” similar to the notion Allah – featureless, unimaginable, impersonal, universal, everywhere… and nobody, no Hindu worship such an Ishwar, and definitely no temple dedicated to such an entity. Though for all practical purpose Allah is a Tribal God, His vengeance can be terrible for non-believers.

    So Sati is terrible, it is clearly a human right violation. Caste based discrimination – both positive and negative – is a human right violation – so Reservation definitely is a discrimination against caste and religion and a human right violation (you need to be be a notional Hindu to get this reservation, so definitely against Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists or any non-Hindu, and the so called “upper” castes).
    Child marriage (before puberty to be more precise) is a violation. Triple Talaq, being universal and gender specific is a human right violation. So is Nikah Halala. Men not being able to enter into Girls college or Hostels is not a human right violation. Nor is “reserved” compartment for women in Indian Railways (possibly) is a Human right violation. But stopping girls from education and healthcare is a human right violation. Polygamy and Polyandry may not be human right violation, provided both are acceptable and treated equally.
    So the question is – whether a Amitabh Bachchan or Rajnikanth Temple – a universal public place – or a very specific club-house for his fans. It you are not one of his Bhakts, why care anyway. His club-house is only for those “stupids” who believe in he being their Deity, unlike us enlightened and rationals.

  18. What do you mean by ” Their God ” Mr Gupta ? Can you use the same word for any Abrahmic Religion ? This is the summery of the whole story .

  19. I don’t think the Supreme Court ought to refrain from making judgments because they are, or may be, unimplementable. I do agree that in order to effect real and lasting change, social reform is necessary. The SC sets the tone for such reform and raises awareness about the legal position on particular issues. Today, a Muslim Woman knows that she can seek a criminal penalty for triple-talaq, she can seek that remedy and if it is not provided to her, can pursue the matter in legally. I think that SC judgments serve as a catalyst for social reform when they elucidate a legal principle. They do not just apply for a particular duration but set the tone for generations. Furthermore, no person should be deprived of their right to a legal remedy simply because of the current political climate/societal norms.

    It is extremely shortsighted to suggest that Courts should refrain from passing orders that may be practically difficult to implement immediately.

  20. The bigger question is “IS Supreme court of India is trying to impose Christian way of life on Hindus??”
    This trend by supreme court of india is not seen in any other country in this palnet. Last many judgements prove this.

  21. Triple talaq, just like FGM affects lives of women and should be banned but why interfere in a harmless tradition of a temple? Those petitioners seeking entry in shabarimala Must’ve had ill-intentions and SC should have seen it

  22. The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple was run with full tradition for centuries by the Pandalam royal family, and subsequently under British rule – conditions were created so that the Travancore Devaswom was formed and took over the temple. Now the Travancore Devaswom has been appropriated by Government and many changes have been made over the years in the Travancore Devaswom to even allow non-devotees to run the Travancore Devaswom administration and temples. As many are aware corruption and selfishness are said to be the hallmarks of most politicians and their parties, therefore they will through Government try to misappropriate the wealth of these ancient temples and promote other religions- the easiest way to do this is to make the Indian public feel ashamed of the ancient culture and tradition – thereafter a temple becomes like another tourist spot and the spirituality can be easily destroyed while the temple wealth is shared among greedy politicians and their cronies who will abet them both from within and without. Let us bear in mind that the sanctum sanctorum was burned down and the idol was destroyed twice earlier – even as recently as June 1950 and the circumstantial evidence pointed clearly to nearby large estate landowners of a competing religion who had just months prior in 1950 also jointly searched for ancient ruins of their religion in the same vicinity so as to dilute the devotion to Sabarimala Ayyappa but all that they found were 3 other ancient Hindu temple ruins– this was documented by the DIG (CID) Kerala Police who investigated the case at that time and he also accurately decoded their plan of action which surfaced true to form decades later circa June 1983 when they attempted to plant fake relics in the vicinity in order to build their own religious houses of worship – This attempt was abandoned when it was exposed as fake & fraudulent in entirety. Therefore the true spiritual aspirant has been a witness to this degradation and loot. The spiritual leadership developed in ancient India will be lost if this is allowed to continue, it is said that 96000 temples were destroyed in similar fashion in the past 800 years – so perhaps there will be a realization and revival of interest among devotees to retain the ancient spiritual culture and protect the remaining temples for true devotees to have the spiritual connect. (Those interested may read for themselves the investigation report by DIG-CID Kerala Police 1950 at firstministry.kerala.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/pdf/bills/Reports/tmple_arsn.pdf)

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