Karnataka tribal activist wants 'made snana' to continue, says it is done voluntarily
While the Supreme Court of India is trying to put an end to the practice of ‘made snana’, some members of the backward communities are trying to make sure they continue. BK Bhaskara Bendody, state president, Adivasi Budakattu Hitarakshana Vedike in Karnataka early this year wrote to president of India to permit continuation of the tradition, reported Bangalore Mirror.
Bendody said in his letter that the devotees voluntarily observe the ritual over the Prasad naivedya without seeing any caste or creed.
This letter surfaced days after the Centre urged Supreme Court to ban the practice calling the practice “inhuman and superstitious”. The center said that it affected human dignity and harms the health of those practising it.
Made Snana is a ritual were devotees roll over leftover food by Brahmins to cure skin diseases, marriage problems and infertility. It is conducted during three-day annual celebration outside Kukke Subramanya temple in Dakshina Kannada district between November-December. It is also practiced in parts of Tamil Nadu.
The activist said that the Subramanya temple has been considered sacred by the Adivasi tribal community for thousands of years.
“The Adivasi Budakattu community people have constitutional rights in the major events held in the temple. The traditional beliefs and customs at Kukke Subrahmanya are performed in fulfilment of `naga devaru' and similarly `made snana' is performed as part of worship. Hence we demand that it be allowed to continue in the temple,” he said.
In 2012, Karnataka HC bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Singh and B V Nagarathna gave a nod to a modified version of the ritual and allowed ‘Yede Snana’ (rolling on Prasadam offered in the temple). Bendody in 2014 filed a review petition of the HC order.
The Centre in its affidavit has clarified that it cannot shield the ritual under the right to freedom of religion enshrined in the Constitution. Previously in 2011, High Court of Karnataka had allowed the practice with slight modification. However, the Karnataka government had told the SC that temple authority was not related with the ritual as it was held outside the temple.