BJP urges Kerala government to exempt worshipers from COVID restrictions to perform ‘Bali Tharpanam’
The BJP in Kerala has urged the state’s Left Front government to grant an exemption to worshipers from lockdown restrictions, imposed in the state due to the COVID-19 situation, to perform the ‘Bali tharpanam’ ritual. An annual Hindu ritual to pay homage to ancestors, the ‘Bali tharpanam’ falls on Sunday August 8 of this year.
Although the state government recently relaxed lockdown restrictions and allowed stores and other establishments to operate six days a week, it was decided to maintain the restrictions on Sundays. Party State Chairman K Surendran said worshipers should be allowed with restrictions to perform the ritual as the government has already lifted several other restrictions.
“It is not fair that the government denies permission to perform Bali tharpanam in a temple,” he said. The BJP leader also wanted the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the state temple’s supreme body, to make arrangements in shrines and bath ghats under their leadership, for those who cannot perform the ritual. at home during the day.
In a statement, he also urged authorities to allow Hindu outfits to organize the necessary facilities for worshipers to perform the annual ritual. The TDB had recently decided to avoid the “Bali tharpanamm” in its sanctuaries this year, citing the spread of the coronavirus.
A recent high-level board meeting decided not to allow the ritual, which was previously performed by thousands of worshipers on the premises of small and large temples across the state. Crossing gender and age barriers, people belonging to the Hindu community generally perform the traditional ritual on the banks of rivers and seaside in the south of the state on the occasion of the “Karkkidaka Vavu”, which falls. August 8 of this year.
The decision was made based on the assessment that it was difficult to perform the ritual while following social distancing standards and other pandemic protocols, they said. The mass entry of worshipers into temple bathing ghats to perform the “Bali tharpanam” could worsen the spread of the disease, TDB officials said, adding that a discussion had taken place with the tantris (priest in chief) of the respective temples before making the decision.
According to Hindu belief, deceased souls attain “moksha” (liberation) if the ritual is performed on “Karkidaka Vavu” day. Temple authorities and police used to make elaborate arrangements to allow people to offer ‘Bali tharpanam’ at prominent places such as Thiruvallam Parasurama temple and Shangumugham beach here, Varkala Papanasam beach. and on the banks of the Periyar River at Aluva near Kochi.
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