Amid the ongoing controversy over the Sabarimala temple issue in Kerala, the High Court of Kerala has declared that the Commissioner of the Travancore and Cochin Devaswom Boards can only be a Hindu.
A division bench comprised of Justices P R Ramchandra Menon and Devan Ramachandran issued the directive on a batch of petitions which challenged the amendments to the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act 1950 (TCHRI Act). This very act had enabled the appointment of a non-Hindu as the Devaswom Commissioner.
Earlier, the Kerala government had amended the sub-section (2) of Section 29 of the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act (1950). The section had mandatory provision that only Hindus could be appointed on the Travancore Devaswom Boards (TDB), but the amendment done by the state government had paved the way for the appointment of non-Hindus in Travancore Devaswom Boards.
Kerala Government Publishes Gazette allowing Non Hindus to be employed in Hindu Devaswom Board . We should get ready for another fight against Communist Government. Share and Shame Secular Government. #ReclaimTemples #Punarutthana pic.twitter.com/JWceAQ4RFT
— Girish Bharadwaja (@Girishvhp) October 7, 2018
Now, the recent Kerala High Court judgment has nullified the government’s petition as in its statement it said, “the court fully justified in declaring the post of Devaswom Commissioner, under the TCHRI Act, is a part of the Devaswom Department under it and axiomatically that, under the rigor of Section 29(1), such an officer will always have to be a person professing the Hindu religion. It is so declared.”
The decision has come at a time when the Communist government in Kerala had suggested the High Court that it can make provisions for setting aside two or three days that can be devoted to women to offer prayers. This proposal was made when the court was hearing a petition moved by four women namely- Reshma Nishanth, Shanila Sajeesh, Dhanya V S and Surya M.
The petition sought protection for women of all age groups to worship and offer prayers at the shrine besides facilities for smooth pilgrimage in the temple.
State Attorney K V Sohan regarding the issue said, “The suggestion for setting apart two or three days exclusively for women pilgrims came from the petitioners. Responding to that suggestion, the state government told the court that it was ready to consider that proposal. The court has not gone into the details of that demand at this stage; instead it sought report about the facilities for women at Sabarimala. It would be up to the Devaswom Board and the thantri (temple’s supreme priest) to take a final opinion on that demand.”
Also, before moving in with their petition that people from other religious belief can administer the Sabarimala temple, the Kerala government should have given it a thought that Hindu temples are not the properties of other religions and people from other religions reserve no right to run the Hindu temples. The Kerala government, in order to project itself as the flag bearer of secularism, was actually playing with the religious sentiments of the Hindus. Their intentions to take over the Hindu temples have now been demolished by the High Court. The Kerala government’s amendments were clear cut interference in the matters of Hindu religion. It was a violation of fundamental rights of Hindus to practice their religion according to wish. The Kerala government has been trying their level best to bring the management of Hindu temples under their control.
In Kerala, Devaswom Boards in the State which administer the temples ideally should have believers of Hinduism as their members but the communists have appointed their own leaders in the administration who are nothing but atheists. Travancore Devaswom Board chief A Padma Kumar happened to be a CPM leader.
With High Court’s latest ruling, the nefarious attempts of the Kerala Government aimed to dictate terms at Sabarimala Temple seems to have bitten the dust.