Earlier, the Mayiladuthurai Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) had banned the ritual of carrying a seer on a palanquin, citing law and order concerns.

File image of Pattina Pravesam ritual
news Controversy Sunday, May 08, 2022 - 17:55

Just over a week after Tamil Nadu’s Mayiladuthurai Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) J Balaji banned the controversial Hindu ritual of Pattina Pravesam — the practice of carrying a seer in a palanquin procession — the move has been revoked, presumably on directions from the Chief Minister’s office. The Mayiladuthurai RDO had passed an order banning the ritual on May 27 even as preparations for the Pattina Pravesam of the Dharmapuram Adheenam, Masilamani Desika Gnanasambandha Paramachariya Swamigal, were ongoing. Following the ban, a delegation including, Kovai Peerooraadheenam Shanthalinga Marudhachala Adigalar and Mayiladuthurai Darumai Aadheenam Thambiran Swamigal, met with Chief Minister Stalin on May 7, asking him to revoke the ban.

At a press meet on Sunday, May 8, the Dharmapuram Adheenam said that Stalin had given the delegation a verbal promise that the ban would be revoked. Hours later, a fresh order by the Mayiladuthurai RDO was issued to the same effect.

Also read: TN bans ritual of people carrying seer on palanquin: AIADMK and BJP demand reversal

The ban had created a political stir with various political parties and social justice organisations taking opposing stands. The AIADMK and the BJP had demanded that the ban be revoked. Tamil Nadu’s BJP chief K Annamalai had taken to Twitter, criticising the move, and further saying that he himself would be present to carry the palanquin if needed. Actor-turned-politician Vijaykanth’s DMDK had also voiced their support for revoking the ban.

Others,like the CPI(M)’s state secretary K Balakrishnan had opposed the practice saying that it was “not right in the modern era,” adding that it was an insult to human dignity. The Viduthali Chirutaigaigal Katchi Chief and Lok Sabha MP Thol Thirumavalavan had told The Hindu that the ritual was unacceptable in a democracy. Seeman’s Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) also condemned the practice, The Hindu reported. Kali Poongundran, deputy president of the Periyarist organisation Dravida Kazhagam (DK), had alleged to The New Indian Express that the Pattina Pravesam had been abandoned in the 1960s following protests on human rights grounds. “It has not been conducted for more than five decades. Now they are trying to revive it,” he told TNIE.

The revoke of the ban is being seen as a victory by the BJP. SG Suryah, Tamil Nadu BJP’s spokesperson, tweeted saying, “Big victory for BJP & Annamalai! Mayiladuthurai Revenue Divisional Officer rescinds the ban of the age-old Pattina Pravesam ceremony of the Dharmapuram Adheenam. Yet another #BJP inspired You Turn by the TN Govt. led by DMK. Big Victory for the Hindus!” (sic)

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.