Pattina Pravesam: Madurai temple chief claims threat to life, to meet Modi

Amid the row over the ban on the ‘Pattina Pravesam’ ritual at a Dharmapuram mutt in Tamil Nadu, another temple chief in Madurai has alleged that there is a threat to his life from DMK leaders and he would be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding this.

According to an Indian Express report, Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal of Madurai Aadheenam (mutt) told reporters in Kalimedu near Thanjavur that DMK leaders have occupied temple land and are threatening him when he asked about rent.

“Since I am posing more questions to them, I am being threatened. They constructed houses in the temple property area but are not giving any rent. They are in control of the temple land and threatened me saying that I cannot enter the town and do my ritual to God,” he said, adding that he would meet PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the threat to his life.

The seer’s statements come after a row erupted over the ban on ‘Pattina Pravesam’ ritual at Dharmapuram mutt in Mayiladuthurai district by the revenue divisional officer (RDO).

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Pattina Pravesam is ritual in which willing devotees carry a deity or a pontiff atop an adorned palanquin.

Also read: Ritual of devotion or oppression?: Ban on ‘Pattina Pravesham’ sparks ideological war in TN

A similar ritual to honour Srilasri Masilamani Gnanasambanda paramacharya Swamigal of Dharmapuram Adheenam was to be held on May 22 but was banned by the state government, citing the practice as a “violation of human rights” and possibility of law and order problems.

Commenting on the move, Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal of Madurai Aadheenam said that the ritual is 500-years old and injustice should not be done to one religion in a country which claims to be secular.

“The Hindu religion is targeted. Are they trying to destroy the Hindu religion? Even the British were not successful in doing that, what can these people do? God will take care of everything,” he said, according to the Express report.

Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami in Tamil Nadu assembly moved a special calling attention motion and said that the government should withdraw the ban on the ritual.

Minister for Hindu and Religious Charitable Endowments Department PK Sekar Babu said Chief Minister MK Stalin would speak with the Dharmapuram adheenam and reach an amicable solution before May 22, when the event is scheduled to take place.

BJP and other Hindu religious groups are against the ban and have voiced their strong opposition to the move.

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