Before the conservation process on Shri Mahalakshmi Devi’s Idol the responsibility should be fixed : Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh

File cases against those who damaged the Idol during the earlier Chemical Conservation process

Standing outside the office of the District Officer after presenting the petition (From the left) – Mr Aniket Kadam, Mr Kiran Duse, Mr Santosh Gosavi Maharaj, Mr Sandeep Sasane and Mr Pramod Sawant

Kolhapur, Maharashtra – One of the three-and-a-half Shakti Peeth of Maharashtra Kolhapur’s Mahalakshmi Idol has been given chemical conservation treatment. This treatment has had serious repercussions on the Idol. And now the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has said that the Shri Mahalakshmi Devi’s Idol will again undergo conservation treatment on the 14th and 15th of April. The Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh has given a petition to the Kolhapur District officer, that before doing the treatment responsibility should be fixed for the possibility of damage to the Idol if it occurs.

This petition has been accepted by the District Officer and Western Maharashtra Devasthan Samiti’s President Amol Yedge. Among those present at this time were, Shri Ekmukhi Dutta Mandir Mathadhipati Mr Santosh Gosavi Maharaj, District President of All India Hindu Mahasabha Mr Sandeep Sasane, Mr Pramod Sawant of the Ambabhai Bhakta Samati, Mr Kiran Duse of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, and Mr Shivanand Swami.

The petition that is given to the District Officer says,

1. Repeating the conservation process after there was no success in the attempt in 2015. There is a clear report that Idol suffered serious damage after the conservation treatment done in 2015. Hence there is a possibility that the Idol might suffer damage because of this process and before it is done there should be a definite allocation of responsibility in case of damage to the Idol. And there should be a stay in the conservation process till this is done.

2. A criminal case should be filed against those who caused damage to the Idol. The issue of the Idol is Dharmik and hence guidance should be taken for all that concerns the Idol from saints, Dharmacharya and Shankaracharya’s various Peeth.

The questions raised by the Mandir Mahasangh

In 2015, despite tremendous opposition by the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, chemical conservation treatment was done for the Shri Mahalakshmi Devi’s Idol. In 2017 signs that the treatment had failed began to be seen and white spots were seen on the Idol. At that time once again, the treatment was repeated. In the recent report presented in the court by retired officers of the Archaeological Survey of India R S Trayambak and Vilas Mangiraj say that there has been inundation in the part below the neck of the Mahalakshmi Devi’s Idol. It is stated that this is a residue of the conservation attempt done in 2015. The District Officer who was witness to the chemical conservation process done in 2015 has said The Archaeological Survey of India will be responsible for the result of the treatment. When this was the case why has no action been taken against those responsible for the damage even after 9 years; is the question raised by the Mandir Mahasangh.