Kochi (Kerala): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has appealed to people to cooperate in ensuring a peaceful two-month long Mandala pooja – Makaravilakku pilgrimage season in Sabarimala.
The Chief Minister said in a Facebook post that the objective of the state government is to uphold the esteem of Sabarimala temple, which is a major pilgrim centre in the country and is a place of worship of all people. “As a pilgrim centre, Sabarimala attracts lakhs of pilgrims from both inside and outside the state. The Government’s efforts in Sabarimala are taken with the goal of ensuring a peaceful pilgrimage season. Everyone must cooperate with these efforts. As a place that attracts large number pilgrims from outside, any occurrence of untoward incidents will mar the reputation of the temple,” Vijayan said.
He also advised media to be sensitive to not publish any such misinformation that can cause disturbances. The Chief Minister said, “Media must also take care to not publish misinformation that can cause disturbances. Some are also using social media networks to propagate misinformation with intent to disturb the peace. Such activities must be monitored and reported to the authorities. People who love Sabarimala and Kerala must not fall for such misinformation that is part of propaganda.” Vijayan also assured the people of Kerala that the state government is committed to protecting the values enshrined by the Indian Constitution.
He said, “We have together survived one of the greatest floods in Kerala’s history. We were able to overcome it because we surrendered our differences for the greater common good. We must emulate that unity at this juncture also. Be it, people of faith or people of no faith, all should be able to live according to their preferences. This mutual respect must be the bedrock of our secular existence. The Government is committed to protecting the values enshrined by our Constitution.” “All pilgrims must cooperate with the security arrangements made in Sabarimala, where lakhs of devotees will be visiting. These arrangements are made to ensure a peaceful and safe pilgrimage. CM has requested all to cooperate with these efforts of the Government,” he added.
The Sabarimala temple and surrounding areas witnessed a string of protests in October over the Supreme Court’s decision to quash restrictions on the entry of females aged between 10 and 50 years into the shrine. This is the third time that the Temple has opened after the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on the entry of women into the temple. So far 3,505 protestors have been arrested and around 529 cases were registered in connection with a series of incidents of violence in the state after the opening of temple gates in October.