Members of the Malekudiya tribe in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district are livid. They are angry about the state government’s move to ban Made Snana in its Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, popularly known as the Anti-Superstition Bill, Deccan Chronicle reported.
Made Snana, which means “wish fulfilment” in Tulu language, is a ritual performed at the Kukke Subrahmanya temple. Devotees belonging to the backward classes roll on plantain leaves with leftovers of meals eaten by Shivalli Brahmins.
The Malekudiya tribals have been performing this ritual for decades now. They have now threatened the Muzrai Department of boycotting the Champa Shasti celebration at Kukke this year if the government does not remove made snana from the bill.
The complexity of the issue unravels itself as the Malekudiya tribals are supporting the ritual of Made Snana.
Malekudiya tribals are traditionally the ones who build the chariot for the Champa Shasti celebrations. The grand ceremony will not be complete if the deity is not drawn in a chariot through a procession. The celebration takes place on November 24 every year.
A prominent community leader, Bhaskar Bendodi, has written to the Muzrai Minister Rudrappa Manappa Lamani, warning that the community will withdraw their participate in the festival should the government ban Made Snana.
“Made Snana is a tradition which must continue. We oppose the government’s decision to ban it. In 2014, the government had issued an order in support of the ritual of Made Snana. This matter is pending hearing in the High Court (Karnataka). How can the state government ban it when the matter is in court? If the government bans made snana, we will not take part in building the chariot,” Bhaskar Bendodi, Rajya Adivasi Budakattu Hitharakshana Vedike President, told DC.
Only the Malekudiya community has the legal right to build the chariot and participate in the Pancha Parva celebration.
The community members have now warned that its decision to stay away could put the government in a fix.
Muzrai Minister Rudrappa told TNM that the bill is coming up for discussion in the winter session of the Assembly.
“This is a draft bill. Each and every point will be discussed in the Assembly. Only after the discussion will we be able to arrive at the final list of banned practices,” he added.
This is not the first time the Malekudiya tribe has risen up to support the ritual of Made Snana. In 2011, members of the community declared that they would stay away from building the deity’s chariot, a traditional activity they have performed for years during the festival season.