Tamil Nadu: State Government Bans 500-Year-Old Ritual At Historic Mutt, BJP’s Annamalai, Adheenam’s Slam DMK
A district collector in Tamil Nadu refused permission for a customary practice involving the head of the historic Dharmapuram Adheenam being carried in a palanquin.
The context: The Dharmapuram Adheenam is one of Tamil Nadu’s historically important Shaivite religious institutions.
-Founded in the sixteenth century, this institution has been at the forefront of promoting Shaivism and defending Hinduism against proselytising forces.
-The ritual being banned is called ‘pattina pravesam’ - it involves the disciples of the head of the institution placing their master on a palanquin and carrying him.
-This is a once-in-a-year event.
But there’s also a political context: The mutt had recently invited the Tamil Nadu Governor for a series of events - a fact that may not have gone well with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.
-MK Stalin and the Tamil Nadu Governor have been on the war path with the latter not forwarding Tamil Nadu assembly’s draft bills on NEET.
-Further, the mutt has always stood on the side of Hindu practices and tradition - all of which the ruling DMK has sought to undermine or ‘reform’.
-In the 1980s when an absurd work that claimed that Shaivism and Christianity had the same origins, the Dharmapuram Adheenam mobilised strongly against its publication.
-The mutt and its pontiff regularly stand up against linguistic chauvinism. They support the use of Sanskrit as a ritual language - another sore point for the DMK.
What others say: Tamil Nadu BJP leader Annamalai came out strongly against the government and so have other religious leaders.
-The head of Madurai Adheenam, another historically important religious institution, has condemned the government’s ban.
-He has said that he will personally carry the Dharmapuram Adheenam’s pontiff if the ban was not reversed.
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