Sabarimala temple won't reopen on 14 June as per earlier plan due to COVID-19; no annual festival this year, says Travancore Devaswom Board
No devotees will be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple for monthly prayers for now due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
No devotees will be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple for monthly prayers for now due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The announcement was made on Thursday, 11 June, by Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) Minister Kadakampally Surendran after a meeting the temple chief priest.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the TBD has also decided that there will be no annual festival this year.
“We have decided not to allow devotees in view of the fluid situation. There are no differences between the priest family and the TDB,” Kadakampally Surendran was quoted as saying.
The report mentions that Tantri Kandararu Mohanararu saying it was ideal not to allow devotees at this juncture. He cited the increase in the COVID-19 cases in Kerala and the neighbouring states behind his decision.
All daily poojas will be held at the shrine as per tantric customs. The temple was planning to open on 14 June and a week-long festival was to commence from 19 June.
A report by The Indian Express mentions that the BJP had earlier criticised the CPI(M)-led Kerala government for giving its nod to temples under the state-funded Devaswom Board to open doors for devotees.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs and senior BJP leader from Kerala V Muraleedharan had earlier said that with COVID-19 cases steadily going up in Kerala, the government is attempting to dodge responsibility by leaving temples open.
“Several temples outside the Devaswom Board have decided not to open. But you (PinarayiVijayan) are going ahead with the decision aimed at not the faithful but the money offered at the temples by devotees,” he said.
He added that the decision of the Kerala government would hurt the sentiments of the faithful.
The report mentions there are nearly 3,000 temples in Kerala under the five devaswoms — temple affairs body controlled by the government.
Announcing the guidelines for lockdown 5.0 or unlock 1.0, the Union government had allowed reopening of places of worship, malls and restaurants across the country from 8 June.
The Sabarimala Temple is one of the most famous and prominent places of worship in Kerala and is situated 3,000 feet above sea level. It is said that the pilgrims have to observe celibacy for 41 days before going to Sabarimala.
IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department Deputy Director Paolo Mauro advised that special attention must be given to green investment to ensure that recovery is inclusive and eco-friendly
Oxfam India said the drop in rankings 'unfortunately' reflects the reality of the country where hunger has accentuated since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak
Due to the lack of coherent screening program in India, we still diagnose a significant proportion of cases in the later stages of the disease.