Kerala: Controversy Flares Over Sabarimala Pilgrimage Remark in Assembly
Kerala: Controversy Flares Over Sabarimala Pilgrimage Remark in Assembly

Thiruvananthapuram: A recent remark by Devaswom Minister K. Radhakrishnan has stirred up controversy regarding pilgrimages to the Sabarimala Temple.

In response to a query from M. Vincent MLA during an Assembly session, Minister Radhakrishnan suggested that only insincere devotees would fail to visit the Sannidanam, the inner sanctum, by removing their sacred bead chains.

Vincent MLA highlighted the difficulties faced by many devotees during the recent pilgrimage season, noting that some had to return home upon reaching Pamba. He mentioned that several pilgrims had removed their sacred bead chains and departed without visiting the main shrine atop the hill.

Radhakrishnan countered by stating that true pilgrims would never discard their sacred chains or forgo the tradition of cracking coconuts, a customary offering at the temple. He also mentioned that while there were initial challenges, the authorities, with police assistance, swiftly addressed them. The minister denounced what he described as false propaganda regarding pilgrims' hardships, including misleading reports of police mistreatment. He highlighted the deliberate dissemination of a video from Andhra Pradesh to perpetuate this false narrative.

In response to the minister's remarks, P.C. Vishnunath MLA pointed out that pilgrims from various states had voiced grievances at Sabarimala. However, Radhakrishnan dismissed their concerns, attributing their protests to political motivations. He suggested that these out-of-state pilgrims were targeting the Chief Minister.

The minister's comments have ignited debate and raised questions about the experiences of pilgrims at Sabarimala.

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