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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Ombudsman steps in to restore Valiya Kalavoor Srikrishna Temple, Alappuzha

An Ombudsman in Kerala has directed the authorities to submit a report on the delay in repairing the dilapidated condition of Srikrishna Swamy Temple in Valiya Kalavoor, Alappuzha. Justice PR Raman, Ombudsman of Travancore, and Kochi Devaswom Boards issued an order. The action came based on the complaint filed by T.P Ramakrishnan, a temple devotee. It was indicated that the report should be submitted by the 16th of next month.

Earlier, there were media reports about the poor condition of the temple. During a Choroon ceremony in the temple, the concrete part of the roof of the Anakottil (an enclosure with slanted ceilings in front of temples where elephants can rest in the shade) came crashing down and injured a devotee. Choroon is the Hindu tradition of giving solid food to a baby for the first time.

Following this unfortunate incident (due to an irresponsible administration), the elephant enclosure was demolished and removed. A new one is yet to be built. The Thitapalli of the temple is also in a dilapidated condition. The offering prepared from Thitapalli is then taken to the temple shrine to be distributed among devotees. This is also where food for the temple staff is readied.

The Devaswom Committee office is on the verge of collapsing at any moment. The roof of the committee office has a portion of the roof tiles missing, leaks during the rains, and is covered with a plastic sheet. The Ombudsman has sought an explanation from the Devaswom Board Secretary, Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, and Executive Engineer regarding the delay in fixing the situation.

The Srikrishna Swamy Temple is one of the ancient temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board. The devotees complain that despite the monthly income of around 2.5 lakh rupees from the temple, no development work is being done here.

The construction of the compound wall of the temple has not been completed. The Devaswom Board is getting Rs 1 lakh from pooja rituals and Rs 1.5 lakh as offerings every month from here. Devotees are preparing to protest by forming a temple protection committee demanding renovation and infrastructure development of the temple.

In October 2018, thousands of Bhagwan Ayyappa devotees gathered in the Namajapa procession at Kalavoor Srikrishna Swamy Temple, demanding the preservation of Sabarimala rituals. Various leaders of Hindu organizations led the way. Could this be the reason for Communist administrative indifference?

Administration Causing Accidents

Also known as Annaprasam, the Choroon ceremony is performed at home or in a temple. This ritual is performed during the auspicious period of 32 days after five months of birth. Choroon is usually conducted between 150 and 180 days after the child’s birth.

The baby, to perform the ritual, is bathed and then dressed. Then, the child is placed on the lap of the grandfather, father, or uncle in front of a lighted lamp. Choroon is served in front of this lamp. Rice, salt, chili, dal, and tamarind are mixed well and rubbed on the child’s tongue. Finally, sweet (sugar) will be served. The offered kheer is used if the ceremony is performed in a temple. Relatives also give ornaments and gifts to the child on this occasion.

In July 2022, Katturveli Prashant and his wife Arya (26) arrived for the Choroon of their five-month-old son Abhaydev. While waiting for the temple priest, a concrete layer fell on Arya’s head, injuring the lady seriously. She was first taken to Chettikad Taluk Hospital, bleeding heavily. After vomiting, she was shifted to Alappuzha Medical College Hospital. The lady ended up with three stitches on her head.

Another piece of concrete fell and hit the head of the elder son, Adidev, who was examined at the medical college. Prashant and his younger son were not injured. The Travancore Devaswom Board did not heed despite complaints, including the advisory committee for four years, that the roof was dangerous. The Mannancheri police inspected the spot, and that was it.

With openly anti-Hindu atheist Marxists managing our Devaswoms, is justice being denied to Hindus? When will the government free our Hindu temples? Hindus know well how to maintain our temples with dignity. Why such discrimination against a particular society only?

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