Five days ago, on July 13th, a Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra pronounced the verdict in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple case, which was pending before it since 2011. The 218-page verdict has finally put to rest all the unnecessary controversy surrounding the world renowned Temple which is the object of worship and reverence for millions of devotees of the Presiding Deity the world over. The Temple and the Travancore Royal Family, which have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, stand vindicated by the judgement of the Apex Court which has restored the control and management of the Temple and all its assets to the titular head of the Family. This was the result of a detailed analysis of the nature of relationship between the Temple and the Head of the Family (“Ruler”).
The relationship itself makes for an extremely interesting study not just from a religious or a legal perspective, but also from a civilizational perspective because it informs us of the pride of place given to places of worship in and by the civilization of this ancient land and its rulers.