Nation Other News 09 Jun 2020 Reopening of shrines ...

Reopening of shrines snowballs into political controversy in Kerala

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SMITHA N
Published Jun 9, 2020, 3:56 pm IST
Updated Jun 9, 2020, 3:56 pm IST
Status quo to be maintained in several churches, mosques, temples
Devotees worship outside a Hindu temple that remains closed to devotees due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kochi, Kerala. (AP)
 Devotees worship outside a Hindu temple that remains closed to devotees due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kochi, Kerala. (AP)

Kochi: The CPM-led Left Front government in Kerala is in the dock over its decision to reopen places of worship even as the COVID-19 transmission graph is going upward each day.

Theh reopening of more than 3000 temples under the three Devaswom Boards has snowballed into a political controversy as various Hindu organisations and BJP leaders alleged that the government’s decision was unilateral.

 

BJP state president K Surendran alleged that though the government held talks with religious heads, it didn’t consult with important Hindu organisations.   

Union minister and former BJP state president V Muraleedharan alleged that the Kerala government’s decision to reopen temples despite opposition from devotees smells foul. “Neither the devotees nor the temple committees demanded the opening of temples,” he said on Twitter.

Major shrines like the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple and Chottanikkara Bhagavathi temple have been reopened for devotees on Tuesday. But some major temples like Sree Padmanabha temple and Attukal Devi temple in Thiruvananthapuram will remain closed until further notice.

 

Various Hindu organisations like Kerala Temple Protection Committee, Visva Hindu Parishad, Nair Service Society (NSS) and Zamorin Raja Trust, Kozhikode have decided not to reopen temples under their ownership until June 30 or the situation improves.

Meanwhile, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran termed the allegations that temple boards are reopening shrines with an eye on money. “The decision to allow entry of devotees to holy places has been taken by the Union government. Talks were held with leaders of various faiths who supported the government’s move. Stringent safety and precautionary measures have been ensured in all holy places. If reopening of shrines is faulty, the decision was taken by PM modi and Amit Shah,” remarked Kadakamaplly.

 

At the same time, various Christian denominations and Muslim organisations have announced that the shrines would not be opened for the time being. Changanassery and Ernakulam-Angamaly archdioceses of the Syro-Malabar Church decided to defer the reopening till June 30.  

Prominent Muslim shrines like Palayam Juma Masjid in Thiruvananthapuram remain closed.

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