Kerala HC reviews PIL seeking ban on kids in Thee Chamundi Theyyam dance

The NGO argues in its plea that this practice has a detrimental impact on the well-being of the participating children and violates their fundamental right to life.

Kerala High Cout
The Kerala High Court has directed the petitioner NGO to include the Malabar Devaswom Board and the trustees of the temple responsible for organizing the dance performance in their legal proceedings | File Photo: PTI

A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Kerala High Court with the objective of prohibiting the involvement of children in the Thee Chamundi Theyyam, a ritualistic dance performed in the northern Malabar region of the state.

The petitioner alleges that as part of this traditional performance, children are thrown onto embers 101 times, which is a cause for concern.

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A bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and Kauser Edappagath on Tuesday (May 16) asked the petitioner NGO to implead the Malabar Devaswom Board and the trustees of the temple under which this dance performance is conducted.

According to the plea by NGO Dhisha, the Thee Chamundi Theyyam, also known as Ottakolam Theyyam, is held by the Chirakkal Kovilakam and Chirakkal Temple Trust in connection with their annual function.

The NGO has contended in its plea that this practice adversely affects the wellbeing of the children participating in the dance and also compromises their basic right to life.

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It also alleged that children selected to perform the dance belonged to the backward community and the performance was a “relic of the feudal past”.

The plea, filed through advocate A K Preetha, seeks a ban on the dance performance with children as participants.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on May 22.