In a rare happening, a 20-year-old tusker got "blessed" at a church in Kerala.
Speaking to IANS, Fr Thomas Vedikunnel, the parish vicar of the famed St George Foronah Catholic Church at Aruvithura, however tried to play down the whole episode.
"Yes, an elephant got blessed. It was done by a junior priest attached to this church. Is this news?," asked the parish vicar. He said to use the word baptised is wrong and the correct word is "blessed".
But veteran Kerala politician and seven-time legislator P.C. George, who is a member of this church, told IANS that the blessing took place on Thursday.
"In my Plathottam family, over the years there have been 50 elephants. The one that got blessed on Thursday belonged to my cousin. The elephant's name is Mahadevan and is around 20 years old."
George said the blessing will not mean changing the elephant's name, which is a Hindu one.
"Please don't misunderstand that since Mahadevan got blessed, his name is going to be changed. He will not have a Christian name," said George.