urges Ker govt to exempt devotees from COVID curbs to perform ''Bali Tharpanam''

 The BJP in Kerala has urged the Left Front government in the state to give exemption for devotees from lockdown restrictions, imposed in the state in view of the COVID-19 situation, to perform ''Bali tharpanam'' ritual.

An annual Hindu ritual to pay homage to ancestors, ''Bali tharpanam'' falls on Sunday (August 8) this year.

Though the state government had recently eased lockdown curbs and allowed shops and other establishments to operate for six days in a week, it was decided to continue restrictions on Sundays.

Party state president K Surendran said devotees should be allowed with restrictions to perform the ritual as the government has already lifted several other curbs.

"It is not right for the government to deny permission to perform the Bali tharpanam in any temple," he said.

The BJP leader also wanted the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the apex temple body in the state, to make arrangements at the shrines and bathing ghats under their management, for those who can not perform the ritual at their homes on the day.

In a statement, he also urged he authorities to give permission to the Hindu outfits to arrange necessary facilities for devotees to perform the annual ritual.

The TDB had recently decided to avoid the ''Bali tharpanamm'' in its shrines this year citing the spread of coronavirus.

A recent high-level meeting of the Board decided not to allow the ritual, which used to be performed by thousands of devotees in the premises of small and big temples across the state.

Cutting across gender and age barriers, people belonging to Hindu community usually perform the traditional ritual on the banks of rivers and seashores across the southern state on the occasion of the ''Karkkidaka Vavu'', which falls on August 8 this year.

The decision was taken based on the assessment that it was difficult to perform the ritual by adhering to social distancing norms and other pandemic protocols, they said.

The entry of devotees en masse to the bathing ghats of temples to perform ''Bali tharpanam'' may aggravate the spread of the disease, the TDB officials had said adding that discussion was held with tantris (head priest) of respective temples before taking the decision.

According to Hindu belief, departed souls attain ''moksha'' (liberation) if the ritual is performed on ''Karkidaka Vavu'' day.

Temple authorities and police used to make elaborate arrangements to enable people to offer ''Bali tharpanam'' at important places such as Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple and Shangumugham Beach here, Varkala Papanasam Beach and on the banks of Periyar river in Aluva near Kochi.

Previous Post Next Post