Kerala reclaims its cultural identity – Organiser

 Mata Amritanandamayi

Sabarimala Karma Samiti“The controversy about young women’s entry to the Sabarimala Temple is unfortunate, and it emanates out of ignorance about temple customs and traditions.” – Mata Amritanandamayi

Sending a stern warning to the ruling CPM that has been incessantly trying to destroy temple traditions and Hindu customs in the state, the Sabarimala Karma Samiti organised a mammoth gathering called “Ayyappa Bhaktha Sangamam” in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, on January 20. The meeting witnessed a huge number of sannyasins and spiritual leaders from across the South India and lakhs of Hindus, turning out to be the largest Hindu congregation ever in the history of Kerala.

Inaugurating the meeting, Mata Amritanandamayi urged the CPM led Kerala Government to respect the traditions and customs of Hindu temples. “The controversy about young women’s entry to the Sabarimala Temple is unfortunate, and it emanates out of ignorance about temple customs and traditions. Temples are the pillars of our culture,” she added.

Referring to the Government’s intervention in the temple affairs, Mata Amritanandamayi said that the situation is such that “the baby is thrown out with the bathwater”.

Presiding over the function, Swami Chidananda Puri said that temple traditions could not be altered by a secular government. Criticising the state government and the ruling party CPM, he said that Hindus should be thankful to Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan for organising the Hindus of Kerala against the backdrop of the Sabarimala issue. He also condemned the repeated verbal assaults made by CPM ministers against Hindu sannyasins and priests.

“Sri Ayyappa is not just the God of Kerala but of the entire country and the whole universe. Vijayan, being the chief minister of Kerala, can administer the people of the state, but he can’t administer Ayyappa Bhagwan, said Swami Paripoornanda. In a video message, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar underscored the need to protect traditions and urged the government to respect the sentiments of devotees.

Speaking on the occasion, former Director General of Police Dr T.P. Senkumar IPS urged the faithful to exercise voting rights vigilantly in the coming elections to give a fitting answer to all anti-Hindu parties and protect Santana Dharma. “All our problems will be solved if a small amendment is made in our Constitution that the majority too will be entitled to the same benefits enjoyed by the minorities in the country,” he said.

Bharathbushan, brother of Kanaka Durga, a CPM activist who trespassed to the Sabarimala Temple only to defile the traditions, was also present on the occasion. Apologising to devotees for the sin committed by his sister, Bharathbhushan broke down and said, “I apologise for the sin my sister has committed. We won’t allow her to enter our house unless she seeks an unconditional apology to Hindu society.”

While women formed the major chunk of the audience, a galaxy of senior Hindu sannyasins, including Swami Prakashananda and senior sannyasin of Sree Narayana Gurudeva order and Swami Golokananda of the Ramakrishna Math graced the dais. Sabarimala Karma Samithi national chairman former jurist N. Kumar, Smt K.P. Sasikala Teacher, O. Rajagopal MLA, RSS Prant Sanghchalak PEB Menon, and representatives of social and cultural organisations were also present. A Namajapa Yatra preceded the meeting from Palayam to the venue. The Hindus in large number thronged the Putharikkandam Maidanam, where the event was organised. A huge number of people, who participated in the Namajapa Yatra failed to reach the venue of the meeting, as the ground was jam-packed. – Organiser, 21 January 2019

Ayyappa Bhakta Sangamam


 

2 Responses

  1. Apologise to return, say kin of woman who visited Sabarimala – Shaju Philip – The Indian Express – 23 January 2019

    The family of Kanakadurga, the 42-year-old woman who had visited Sabarimala temple in Kerala, has demanded that she apologise to all devotees before they allow her to return home. The family has accused her of violating traditions at the temple.

    Kanakadurga was allegedly assaulted by her mother-in-law after she visited the hill shrine following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow women of all ages to visit Sabarimala.

    A native of Kerala’s Malappuram district, Kanakadurga has now been lodged at a government-run shelter home meant for women and children.

    Since visiting Sabarimala on January 2, Kanakadurga and Kozhikode native A Bindu were under police protection at an undisclosed location. Both returned home on January 15, but Kanakadurga was allegedly attacked by her 78-year-old mother-in-law while trying to enter their house. Since then, Kanakadurga, an employee of the state-run civil supplies corporation, was in hospital.

    The Supreme Court on January 18 directed the state government to provide round-the-clock security for Kanakadurga and Bindu after they faced protests from Sangh Parivar outfits and devotees.

    The latest trouble began on Monday night after Kanakadurga’s family refused to take back her from the hospital.

    Kanakadurga’s brother Bharat said, “Police asked us to take her back home. But we family members, including her husband Krishnanunni, are against allowing her in the house. We are still against her visit to Sabarimala. If she publicly tenders an apology, we will allow her back home.”

    Bharat, who tendered an apology to devotees at a meeting last Sunday in Thiruvananthapuram, said the family will move an appeal in the Supreme Court against its verdict ordering security for the two women.

    “The court allowed the faithful to visit the temple. Kanakadurga is not a believer. Why should she be given protection? Her visit was sponsored by the CPI(M) government,” he said.

    Kanakadurga, who is at state-owned relief home at Perinthalmanna town, said she will move a petition in a local court seeking direction to allow her entry into her house. “They did not even allow me to meet my children, both aged 10,” she said.

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  2. Sabarimala review hearing awaits Justice Malhotra’s return – Legal Correspondent – The Hindu – New Delhi, JANUARY 22, 2019

    Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday told petitioners seeking a review of the court’s September 28 judgment revoking the bar on women of menstrual age from entering the Sabarimala temple that a date for hearing their petitions would be fixed after consulting Justice Indu Malhotra, a member of the Bench who is now on medical leave.

    A five-judge Bench led by the Chief Justice, which was earlier scheduled to hear the review petitions on Tuesday, did not assemble as Justice Malhotra was on leave.

    Oral mention

    Responding to an oral mention by advocate Mathew Nedumpara to fix a date for hearing, Justice Gogoi said that would not be possible until Justice Malhotra returns after leave, possibly on January 30.

    “We will have to ask the learned judge, who is on medical leave,” the Chief Justice said, addressing Mr. Nedumpara, who represents one of the several review petitioners. “We cannot ascertain a date without asking her [Justice Malhotra],” he added.

    Justice Malhotra had delivered the lone dissent in the five-judge Constitution Bench’s majority judgment on September 28. The judgment had declared the exclusion, based solely on the menstrual status of women, a smear on individual dignity. It said the bar amounted to “treating women as the children of a lesser God.”

    Justice Malhotra had declared the prohibition on women aged between 10 and 50 an “essential practice.” The judge had held that imposing the court’s morality on a religion would negate the freedom to practise religion according to one’s faith and beliefs. The dissenting judgment has since then become a rallying point for the review petitioners.

    Review petitions were filed by a range of persons, from the Sabarimala temple’s chief priest to individuals and Ayyappa organisations, including women devotees’ bodies. They contend that ‘reform’ cannot mean rendering a religious practice out of existence on the basis of a PIL petition filed by “third parties” lacking belief in the Sabarimala deity.

    Justice Malhotra’s rationale that courts should not allow “interlopers” to file PIL petitions challenging religious practices is a common thread in the review petitions.

    The review petitioners have argued that the right to move the Supreme Court for violation of fundamental rights must be reserved for those whose personal rights to worship have been violated. Entertaining PIL petitions on religious practices by third parties may invite “perils even graver for religious minorities,” some of them contend.

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