Suo motu matter initiated by High Court for sale of substandard worship (pooja) items
Adverse effects of the Government takeover of temples
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) – The Kerala High Court has taken suo motu action based on the news report that substandard worship (pooja) items were being sold at the Vaikom Mahadeva temple in Kottayam District. According to sources, the Koovalam (Bel tree leaf) and other Vazhipadu (worship items) used in the temple were of inferior quality. The Court reprimanded the Temple’s Advisory Committee for its apathy and made it aware of its responsibility. The Court said the Bel tree leaf that is offered to Shiva must be pure as it depicts the creation, preservation and destruction principles of God. The committee is expected to keep a constant vigil on the quality of worship material. The worship material used in religious rituals, as well as in worship, must be pure.
The Court observed this is a serious mistake of the administrative officer. The Temple Advisory Committee is expected to assist the Travancore Devaswom Board in the working of the temple. The committee is expected to pay attention to whether those traditional rituals and festivals are celebrated in the temple as per traditions or not ? It should also monitor, whether the administrative officers and staff concerned with religious rituals are carrying out the tasks assigned to them. The Court also directed the Devaswom Commissioner to take appropriate action within a month against the shopkeepers selling the worship material as well as the concerned officers of the Devaswom Board.