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Sabarimala devotees oppressed by Kerala govt: RSS chief at VHP meet

twitter-logoPTI | January 31, 2019 | Updated 21:32 IST

(Eds: Adds details, changes in intro) Allahabad, Jan 31 (PTI) RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat Thursday alleged that the Sabarimala devotees were being oppressed by Kerala’s leftist government that has exceeded the judicial mandate. This has deeply disturbed the Hindu society, he said at a Vishva Hindu Parishad's 'dharm sansad' (religious council) here. "We support this agitation of the Hindu society as the petitioners to the judiciary were not Lord Ayyappa's devotees," he said on the first day of the meeting, presided by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati. "There are many moves afoot to divide the Hindu society. Accordingly, it's the need of the hour to reunite the segmented Hindus through a religious renaissance," the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief said. The VHP meet, which coincides with the Kumbh Mela, is also expected to put pressure on the government over the “delay” in the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also visited the Kumbh Mela Thursday and reportedly discussed the Ram Janmabhoomi issue with the RSS chief. The meeting was also addressed by Yoga guru Ramdev, who called for a common civil code. The VHP's religious council was also addressed by Swami Parmanand, who likened the Sabarimala agitation in Kerala to that over the Ram temple in Ayodhya. He alleged that for the last few years "mischievous efforts" is consistently being made to undermine and destroy the Hindu faith and traditions. The seer said the move to secure the entry of women of any age in the Sabarimala temple is a fresh example of such "mischievous efforts". He said the temple has also been made a centre of stirs in the past, on the pretext of environmental degradation or in the name of modernity and gender empowerment. "The Sabarimala temple was subjected to arson in 1950 by Christians, who installed a cross in its precincts in 1982," he alleged. "Nowadays, thousands of Muslim women are engaged in forming human chains to undermine the agitation against the faith and traditions of the Sabarimala temple,” he charged. “All these examples expose the conspiracy of mischievous efforts against the Hindus," he said. He said the country's seers welcome the protests by Lord Ayyappa's devotees, particularly those by Hindu women and organisations like the People for Dharma. Thursday’s meeting was attended by over 200 seers including Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Narendracharya Ji Maharaj, Jagadguru Ramanujacharya Hansdevacharya Ji Maharaj, Nirmal Peethadhishwar Shrimahanth Gyandev, Swami Jitendranath, Satpal Maharaj, Swami Viyoganand Ji Maharaj and Swami Nrityagopaldas Ji Maharaj. Another meeting of seers, which ended Wednesday, had called for holding a ceremony on February 21 at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site to begin construction of a temple there. Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati had said there that the seers will head for Ayodhya after Basant Panchami, which falls on February 10, for the ceremony. The meetings come days after the Centre filed a petition, seeking the Supreme Court’s permission to transfer “surplus” land adjacent to the disputed Ayodhya site to its original owners. PTI CORR RAX ASH ASH

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