The event was banned by the Mayiladuthurai district administration after it was opposed by several political outfits citing human rights, but the ban was later revoked.

People protesting against Pattina Pravesam, holding banners, placards and black flags
news Controversy Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 18:32

Activists protesting against the Pattina Pravesam event to be held at Dharmapuram Adheenam mutt in Mayiladuthurai were arrested by the police on Sunday, May 22. The protests were carried out ahead of the controversial Hindu ritual of Pattina Pravesam — the practice of carrying a seer in a palanquin procession, which is scheduled for Sunday evening. Members of Makkal Adhikaram, an organisation based in Tamil Nadu, led the protest which was held near Vijaya Theatres in Mayiladuthurai. Members of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and other parties also participated in the protest.

The protesters took to the streets with banners and raised slogans against Pattina Pravesam. Members were seen with black flags, expressing their opposition to the event. They were later arrested by the police. Meanwhile, around 600 police personnel have been deployed in the area where the event is taking place.

The Dharmapuram Adheenam, Masilamani Desika Gnanasambandha Paramachariya Swamigal, has put out a video seeking “not to politicise Pattina Pravesam, which is a spiritual event”.

The Pattina Pravesham ritual ran into controversy earlier this month after the Mayiladuthurai RDO passed an order banning the ritual. A delegation including Kovai Peerooraadheenam Shanthalinga Marudhachala Adigalar and Mayiladuthurai Darumai Aadheenam Thambiran Swamigal met with Chief Minister Stalin on May 7 and asked him to revoke the ban.

The next day, the Dharmapuram Adheenam said that Stalin had given the delegation a verbal promise that the ban would be revoked, and hours after this, a fresh order by the Mayiladuthurai RDO was issued revoking the ban.

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

While the AIADMK, BJP, DMDK had demanded that the ban be revoked, the CPI(M), VCK, Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) opposed the move and termed it a feudal practice. CPI(M)’s state secretary K Balakrishnan said that it was “not right in the modern era” and that it was “an insult to human dignity”. VCK Chief and Lok Sabha MP Thol Thirumavalavan said that the ritual was unacceptable in a democracy. Kali Poongundran, deputy president of the Periyarist organisation Dravida Kazhagam (DK), had said that Pattina Pravesam was 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 said.

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