Sabarimala purification ceremony "violates" untouchability law, priests should be dethroned: Letter to CM

Film director and cartoonist from Bengaluru, KP Sasi, has floated a signature campaign asking Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to debar “the Brahmin Tantris” from their “hereditary rights over Sabarimala temple”. The letter asks Vijayan to hand over the worship rights at Sabarimala to Adivasi Mala Araya community, who were the customary custodians of Sabarimala until the Brahmins took control of the Sabarimala temple in the early 20th century.
Taking strong exception to the purification ceremony, which “happened according to the values of Brahmanical patriarchy” following the entry of two under-50 women into the temple, the letter also appeals to the CM “to make necessary steps to enforce community rights and facilitate environmental protection of the forests around Sabarimala as well as Pampa river as per the Forest Rights Act.”
Citing the Supreme Court judgment, which ensured that the two women, Adv Bindu and Kanakadurga, enter the temple on January 2, 2019 by entering the Sabarimala temple, a right accorded to them by the historic Supreme Court verdict given on September 28, 2018, the letter states, the purification puja by the head priest was a violation of apex court order.
“In the historic judgment Justice DY Chandrachud observed that the practice to ban entry to women between the ages of ten and fifty at the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala is ‘a form of untouchability’. He observed ‘Religion cannot be cover to deny women the right to worship...”, the letter states, pointing towards how it should be construed as violation of the Article 17 of Constitution of India, which says that untouchability in any form "is forbidden" and is "a punishable offence".

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