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.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.