New Delhi: The Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee may have apologised for the purification issue but the temple thantri (head priest) on Wednesday said he did not regret his decision to conduct the punyaham ritual following a visit to the temple by Union Minister Vayalar Ravi's son Ravikrishna.
"Why should I regret (the act)? As long as the present rules exist, I will go by them. Let the government change the rules. I am not part of the government," high priest, Chennas Raman Namboodiripad told PTI.
Reacting to the decision of the managing committee of the Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Ravikrishna said what was important was that there should be an assurance that this sort of a thing would not happen again.
"I am awaiting the written reply from the Devaswom on my letter. I welcome their decision. But mere expression of regret is not enough. What is important is that this sort of a thing should not happen in future," Ravikrishna told PTI.
"I am a Hindu. It is my birthright to assert that I am a Hindu. Who is the thantri to say that I am not a Hindu? They should put an end to this. Where is the guarantee that the punyham will not be repeated if I visit the temple again?" he asked.
"Ultimately my family and children should not face this sort of experience in the future. I don't know what decision the Devaswom has actually taken except what I have heard from the media. I am awaiting the written reply from the managing committee," Ravikrishna said.
The purification ritual – that sparked off a huge debate about faith and religious identities – was ordered when the chief priest ordered ceremonies such as sprinkling of holy water after the minister’s visit.
The contention was that the minister's wife Mercy was a Christian and the temple does not allow entry to non-Hindus.
Though Mercy was not present at the function, he said his son and grandson were seen as her non-Hindu progeny.
Kerala government brings in new law
The Kerala government said on Wednesday that it would bring a legislation to enable any believer in Hinduism to offer worship in temples.
Devaswom Minister G Sudhakaran told a seminar on 'Progressive Movement and the Second Guruvayur Satyagraha', organised by DYFI that the present rule stated that any person who by birth is a Hindu can enter temples.
A necessary amendment would be brought forward to enable a believer in Hinduism enter temples, Sudhakaran said.
"Thantris have no right to determine who is a believer," Sudhakaran added.
(With inputs from PTI)
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