Topics : Art
Culture - Fashion
& Hot Malluwood Film News : * hourly
to Malluwood Current News Section
News - Film news - Mallwuood Cinema Reviews - Previews - Music Chart -
Sabarimala priest demands inquiry into actress episode (LEAD)
Indo-Asian News Service
Thiruvananthapuram, June 28 (IANS) Even as the Sabarimala
temple authorities are readying for a ritual to restore its sanctity after an actress was reported to have entered it, the chief priest of the famed Kerala shrine said the allegation may be baseless.
Kantaru Maheswaran Thantri, whose family members have been the designated temple priest for years, Wednesday demanded an inquiry into the claim that
Kannada actress and producer Jaimala had entered the sanctum sanctorum in 1987 and touched the idol of Lord Ayyappa, flouting tradition.
"Such a thing can never happen because even the Brahmin priests of the temple cannot enter the hallowed place and touch the deity. This is a baseless allegation and may be this is being done with vested interests to bring disrepute to the famed temple," he told reporters here.
The rules of the temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa bar women who have attained puberty but have not reached menopause from entering it.
A controversy was triggered when astrologer Parapanangadi Unnikrishna Panicker said the deity had been violated as Jaimala had entered it.
While the thantri would not comment on Panicker's claim, he said such a thing could never happen.
When asked if temple rules could be amended to let women enter it, the thantri said: "This (not letting women enter) is done in keeping up with the traditions of the temple and has been practiced for ages. Who am I to make any comment?"
Astrologer Panicker who revealed the actress' visit has suggested extended rituals for nearly two years to restore the sanctity of the temple.
The Ayyappa temple is situated in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, four kilometres from the Pamba river in Pathanamthitta district of central Kerala. It has become one of the most famous Hindu pilgrim centres in India.
J.S. Indukumar, a journalist with the Asianet television channel who interviewed the actress, Tuesday said Jaimala was rather surprised to know that her letter to Panicker saying she had entered Sabarimala had been made public.
The news has come as a surprise because a woman can never enter the shrine without the knowledge of temple insiders.
Meanwhile, reports have also surfaced that three other southern Indian actresses may have entered the temple when they went there in connection with a film shooting a few years ago.