Thiruvananthapuram: Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has promised to discuss the possibility of restoring the rights of lighting the Makara Jyothi to the Malayaraya community.
He was replying to a calling attention motion by Mr O. Rajagopal (BJP) in the Assembly on Friday demanding the return of the traditional rights to the Malayaraya community.
Mr Surendran said the Aikya Malayaraya Mahasabha and Sree Ayyappa Dharma Sanghom had jointly submitted a petition to the government on the issue. The petition said that from the ancient times, the priests of Malayaraya community, who lived on the 18 mountains of Sabarimala, had been entrusted with rituals like lighting the Makara Jyothi and bathing the deity of Sree Ayyappa with honey during the Mandalam season.
The Akhila Thiruvithamkur Malayaraya Mahasabha in its petition to the government had also pointed out this fact, said Mr Surendran. These rites were discontinued in the name of reforms later.
While disposing of a petition filed by Sreeni Pattathanam and Profes-sor K. D. Sudhakaran on April 25, 2011, the High Court had also observed that the Malayarayas had rights over the rituals and that these were lost in the later period, he said. The government would take a final decision on the issue after considering all the aspects, said Mr Suren-dran....