SC stay on Karnataka HC order has led to temples continuing the practice

The controversial made snana ritual continued for the third day at Kukke Subrahmanya town in Dakshina Kannada district, with devotees of the Subrahmanya deity performing the ritual by rolling over plantain leaves with leftovers of food consumed by Brahmins. The same ritual was also performed in tandem at temples in Udupi and in Ramanathpura in Hassan district on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the November 8 Karnataka High Court order that had allowed a modified version of the ritual. As per the modification, devotees were to be allowed to roll over only food offered to the deity and not the leftovers.

Controversial ritual

However, the apex court’s stay has resulted in temples continuing the old practice, which has over the last few years seen several protests on the ground that it is discriminatory and superstitious.

At Udupi, several people participated in the ritual held around the Subrahmanya shrine on the Sri Krishna Math/temple premises in fulfilment of their ‘harake’ (vows). It was also held in the Vasuki and Subrahmanya temples in parts of Udupi district as part of the Subrahmanya Shashti festival.

Similarly, hundreds performed the ritual at Prasanna Sri Subrahmanya temple at Ramanathpura in Arkalgud taluk on Tuesday. The temple, which was denotified by the State government last year, is now under the Sri Samputa Narasimha Math of Subrahmanya in Dakshina Kannada district.

The BJP government handed it over to the math in August 2011 following a request from the math, claiming that the temple was constructed by one of its seers in the 17th Century. The made snana ritual has been undertaken in the temple since last year.

Jatha planned

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has organised a weeklong protest jatha from Subrahmanya to Udupi in protest against the made snana and pankti bedha and to create awareness against “superstitious” practices.

Speaking to presspersons in Bangalore on Tuesday, CPI(M) State secretary G.V. Sreerama Reddy said the jatha will start at Subrahmanya on December 21 and reach Mangalore on December 23, where a rally will be held. The jatha will then move to Udupi where a massive protest convention will be held on December 27.