Seeks the Chief Minister's intervention in putting an end to the ritual

The Mysore-based Karnataka Rajya Hindulida Vargagala Jagruta Vedike has urged the Government to ban “made snana” (a ritual in which people roll on plantain leaves which has leftover food after a meal served to Brahmins) at Kukke Subrahmanya temple managed by the Department of Endowment.

Vedike State unit president K.S. Shivaramu told presspersons here on Tuesday that it was a superstitious ritual.

Mr. Shivaramu condemned the three-day ritual during the annual Champa Shasthi festival at the temple. The “purohitashahi” system was promoting it and ensured that it continued. The Government should understand this and ban it permanently, he said.

Mr. Shivaramu said the ritual was against the Constitutional and democratic principles. Such a practice was in vogue in the district which is home to Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda. Mr. Gowda should take the lead in banning it, he said.

Mr. Shivaramu said if the Government failed to ban the ritual, the vedike would intensify its agitation.

Black flag protests

He wondered why Vishvesha Tirtha swamiji of Pejawar Math was silent on the issue. He should raise his voice against it, he added.

If the swamiji did not make his stand clear, the vedike would stage black flag protests in functions which would be attended by him, he said.

Mr. Shivaramu condemned the statement of Vidyaprasanna Tirtha swamiji of Kukke Subrahmanya Math who reportedly justified the ritual. Maths should not mislead society and should create awareness among people to get rid of superstitious practices, he said.

He said the vedike would hold a meeting at Jaladarshini Guest House in Mysore on December 4 under the chairmanship of writer Aravinda Malagatti to discuss the future course of action.

Scribes manhandled

Two reporters and two camera persons of a television channel were allegedly manhandled by security staff on the temple premises on Tuesday in the presence of Assistant Commissioner of Puttur sub-division Sundar Bhat when they were getting ready for telecasting the ritual live.

Speaking to The Hindu the reporters alleged that a camera was damaged in the incident. They were on the outer precincts of the temple when the incident happened. They said there was no board banning videography on the outer precincts.

They said the official asked the security staff to forcibly send them out. They were allowed to carry on with their work only after they contacted Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda.

Refute

However, the Deputy Commissioner denied that security staff had manhandled presspersons. Mr. Gowda said presspersons had been allowed to cover the ritual.

Meanwhile, Minister for Higher Education and Muzarai V.S. Acharya told presspersons in Mangalore on Tuesday: “It is a belief ...you have to respect their belief, it is a tradition in temples. If anyone proposes to change,...(there should be) consensus among the followers."