A divisional revenue officer’s decision to ban the age-old practice of carrying a pooch’s head in a palanquin during a ritualistic procession has sparked outrage in Tamil Nadu.
The ‘Pattina Pravesam’ rite at Dharmapuram Adheenam in Mayiladuthurai district sparked outrage among rationalists, forcing the RDO to ban the ritual, alleging human rights abuses and public order issues.
The Tamil Nadu BJP claimed political ulterior motives behind the DMK regime banning the religious event, and the 293rd Pontiff of Madurai Adheenam Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal stood up in defense of the ritual, saying it was willing to give his life to ensure the ceremony took place,” according to reports. Back to the controversy and its different aspects:
What is Pattina Pravesam?
Pattina Pravesam, which literally means “entering a city”, is a centuries-old ritual in which willing devotees carry a deity or pontiff atop an ornate palanquin. According to some, the original purpose was to honor the pontiff who arrived in the city, said a report by times now.
The pontiff must be carried in a silver palanquin in the Dharmapuram Adheenam Mutt rite. Following the death of his predecessor, Srilasri Shanmuga Desiga Gnanasambanda paramacharya Swamigal, the current pontiff, Srilasri Masilamani Gnanasambanda paramacharya Swamigal, took over as Dharmapuram Adheenam on December 13, 2019. He was carried on a palanquin to mark his assumption of charge as Pontiff. On December 24, 2019, a similar “Pattina Pravesam” was held at Dharmapuram Adheenam in Vaitheeswaran Kovil, near Sirkazhi.
Dharmapuram Adheenam one of the oldest Shaivate pooches
Meanwhile, Aadheenam is a Tamil word for both a Shaivite pooch and his head. The plural form of the word is Aadheenams.
The event, originally scheduled to be held on May 22, was later banned by the government. Dharmapuram Aadheenam is in the Mayiladuthurai district of the Cauvery delta region and it is one of the oldest Shaivite pooches in Tamil Nadu.
What did the last ban say?
The banning order was issued on April 27 by Mayiladuthurai RDO J Balaji, but he did not impose any restrictions on the ceremony without the seer being carried in a palanquin, a report said. India Time. The ban follows a recent visit to Dharmapuram Adheenam by RN Ravi, the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
Following concerns from the Dravidar Kazhagam and other fraternal organizations, the order was issued. The Deputy Superintendent of Police provided the district administration with a summary of warnings from organizations that allowing pattana pravesam would lead to public order issues. The deliberations of the Collector’s weekly law and order review meeting were also taken into account when issuing the restraining order, according to a report by the hindu.
In its restraining order, the RDO cited Article 23 of the Indian Constitution. “Trafficking in human beings and begging [compulsory labour] and other similar forms of forced labor are prohibited and any breach of this provision shall be an offense punishable according to law,” he said.
The Dravida Kazhagam and other organizations reportedly challenged the conduct of Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam Gurumahasannidhanam, a Saivite Mutt based in the town of Tiruvaduthurai in Kuthalam Taluk district, during the month of February, while warning the district authorities against permission for the event.
How did the religious representatives react?
Vaishnayante Guru Mannargudi Sri Sendalangara Jeeyar reacted strongly to the ban, sending a ‘warning’ to ‘Dharmdrohis’ and ‘Deshdrohis’. “Pattina Pravesam is a religious ritual. No one has the right to stop this. It is made by the followers of the pooch. I as Mannargudi Jeeyar admonish these ‘Dharmdrohi’ and ‘Deshdrohi’ for their anti-Hindu works. If they interfere with Hindu beliefs and temples, none of the ministers of this government will be able to walk the road,” he said.
Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal said the ritual was “voluntarily where students carry their guru on their shoulders” and called on Chief Minister MK Stalin to step in and allow it. He compared the ritual to the swearing-in ceremony when taking the oath. of CM. “In this case, this custom should also be prohibited.”
He urged K Veeramani, the head of the Dravidar Kazhagam, not to oppose such religious rites. According to reports, mutt staff say that the custom, which has been followed for hundreds of years, does not have people carrying the palanquin of any particular community and they considered this service to the Lord.
Political opposition to the ban
BJP State Unit Leader K Annamalai said that even under previous DMK regimes, led by late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, the “Pattina Pravesam” event of the pooch Dharmapuram Aadheenam had took place periodically. “Has Karunanidhi banned such events?” he asked. that,” he told reporters here at a press conference.
“This government disrespects gurus and intimidates pooches. The government should abandon this dangerous game,” Annamalai alleged. The authorities’ invocation of Article 23 of the Constitution on forced labor (to ban the event) is not at all applicable to this religious event, he said.
An opinion expressed by a pontiff of a Sri Vaishnavite pooch decrying the government ban showed that Hindu spiritual leaders were hurt by the Tamil Nadu government’s decision, he said while answering a question.
“My call is for Chief Minister MK Stalin to preside over the event and it is his duty. He is the chief minister for people of all faiths. Let him demonstrate that he is secular and respects all religions,” the BJP leader said.
Asked about the political motives behind the ban, Annamalai recalled Governor RN Ravi’s recent visit to Cabot and his convoy being “attacked” and later the DMK alliance parties to the power in this region “speaking ill” of the pontiff.
It was only following such a sequence of events that the ‘Pattina Pravesam’ event (carrying the guru on a palanquin in a procession) was banned by the government, he said. “Everyone knows that there is a political reason in this case. The people question is why the government should intervene in an age-old custom and ban it.”
With contributions from agencies
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