TN govt gives into pressure, revokes ban on age-old ritual Pattina Pravesam

The ‘Pattina Pravesam’ annual ritual will now take place on May 22nd, reads the new order. Earlier, the DMK government had refused to give permission to conduct this procession since it “dents human dignity”

The DMK has given the nod to 'Pattina Pravesam', a ritual in which devotees carry the seer of a Shaivite centre–Dharumapuram Adheenam–on their shoulders in a palanquin

Owing to pressure from different quarters, the Tamil Nadu government did a U-turn and revoked its recent ban on ‘Pattina Pravesam’, a ritual in which devotees carry the seer of a Shaivite centre–Dharumapuram Adheenam–on their shoulders in a palanquin. It is an age-old tradition followed in the Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu.

The ‘Pattina Pravesam’ annual ritual will now take place on May 22nd, reads the new order. Earlier, the MK Stalin government had refused to give permission to conduct this procession on the grounds that it “dents human dignity”. The order was issued invoking the provisions of Article 23 of the Constitution of India.

The AIADMK and BJP were up in arms against the order. However, after the government revoked the ban, Narayanan Thirupathy, vice-president, BJP Tamil Nadu labelled the DMK government as an “anti-Hindu government”. “They are regularly attacking the Hindu rituals, cultures and traditions and after strong opposition, the government has revoked the ban on ‘Pattina Pravesam’ of the Dharumapuram Adheenam,” he said, adding that the DMK government should now learn from their mistakes.

Meanwhile, taking to Twitter, BJP State President K Annamalai tweeted, “There is nothing new in the DMK Govt climbing down on the ‘Pattina Pravesham’ issue. Last few days TN CM MK Stalin was thinking of two options – ‘Down but not out’ or ‘retired hurt’. But TN people & BJP ‘clean bowled’ his govt’s stand today!”

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Also read: Row after TN denies permission to age-old tradition of carrying pontiff on palanquin

Earlier, the Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal, the 293rd pontiff of the Madurai Aadheenam, had cautioned the government stating that the Dharmapuram Adheenam is a major religious centre for Shaivites and the practices at this ancient monastic institution should be “respected and not opposed.”

“This event symbolises the pupils’ veneration for their guru and they voluntarily carry their guru on their shoulders, as their dakshina (offering),” the Madurai Aadheenam had said.

The complaint against the ritual was raised by Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani who felt the practice was a “violation of human rights”. To avert any law and order situation, the revenue authorities had at first decided to ban the procession. The order had stated, “Traffic in human beings and compulsory labour and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.”

Bowing to pressure, the DMK has now rescinded the order.

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