Devaswom Board member's call for temple entry of non-Hindus sparks debate

First Published 9, Sep 2017, 8:33 PM IST
temple entry Ajay Tharayil Facebook post
  • Ajay Tharayil demanded a lift on ban on entry of non-Hindus to temples
  • Devaswom Board president said such a decision could not be implemented unilaterally
  • Devaswom Minister said there was no such ban on entry, except in Guruvayoor temple

Triggering a public debate, Congress leader and a member of Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has demanded lifting of ban on entry of non-Hindus to temples. Tharayil appealed that the TDB should consider amending its 1952 order which puts a restriction on people belonging to other religions from entering temples. 

Reacting to the demand, Prayar Gopala Krishnan, president of Travancore Devaswom Bord (TDB), which manages several temples, said it could not be implemented 'unilaterally'.

Responding to the demand, Minister for Tourism and Devaswom, Kadakampally Surendran wanted to avoid 'unnecessary' debate on the issue and said except in Sree Krishna Temple in Guruvayour, there was no bar for entry of non-Hindus in temples.

However, he said the issue of Guruvayour Krishna temple was serious and it has to be resolved after a public hearing. "No temples in Kerala seeks any certificate (regarding religion) for entry", he added.

Ajay Tharayil, Congress leader and member of TDB, said in a facebook post that those who believe in temple and idol worship should be allowed in temples.



He also said that he has not placed this request in the Board meeting as he wanted the issue to be discussed in public first. "I will place the matter before the Board later", he said.

A unilateral decision can not be taken on the matter, TDB President Prayar Gopalakrishnan told reporters here.

It has to be discussed with Thanthri Samajam (outfit of priests), Temple Advisory Committees and also with authorities of other four Devaswom Boards in the state before reaching a decision, he said.

Cochin Devaswom Board, Malabar Devaswom Board, Koodalmanikayam Devaswom Board and Guruvayour Devaswom are the other temple managing committees in the state.

There was no restriction for devotees in the name of religion for entry in several temples temples including famed Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala now. However, this discrimination exist in some temples as per the rule of that particular shrine, Gopalakrishnan said.