EDITORIAL: There is nothing wrong

editorial

Police order that it will not give clearance certificate to the persons who were active participant in Sabarimala protests to take part in Thiruvabharanam procession will lead to unnecessary controversies at the fag end of the Sabarimala season.

Pathanamthitta police chief’s circular is that it will not allow any person involved in Sabarimala protest-related cases to take part in Thiruvabharana procession.

As per tradition, it is the Pandalam palace that decides on the 21 persons who should bear the Thiruvabharanan pedakam (sacred ornament casket).

This is much early decided. Among them there are person who had actively participated in protests against women’s entry in Sabarimala. If the police turn adamant, those men will get excluded from the procession. The Palace representative, who should lead the procession, himself has taken part in protests. So it is not known whether he will also be prohibited.

The police instruction to Pandalam palace is to submit the list of Thiruvabharanam procession participants to Pandalam police before 4 pm on Friday. Devaswom board Identity card will be given only to those persons receiving police clearance.

Police clearance will be given only after examining the photos and videos of protestors available with the police. However, denying certificates to them may create new problems. Many will have to keep off the procession.

By tradition, it is Pandalam court that decides on such things and if that practice gets disturbed, no one will be there to carry the Thiruvabharana pedakam, according to Pandalam Palace Action council president.

Now, all expect the police to slacken their stand and it is exactly the right thing to happen. Crores of devotees inside and outside the State wish for a peaceful end to the most auspicious ceremony of the Sabarimala pilgrimage. Police action should not malign the purity of this ceremony.

This year’s Sabarimala season was very badly affected by the Supreme Court verdict. When just a few days are left for closing the temple after the end of the season, no action from any corner should come to mess up the Thiruvabharanam procession.

At this juncture, Pathanamthitta police chief’s instruction would lead to unnecessary controversy and arguments.

Everyone is well aware of the course of such populist protest. Just accusing a person doesn’t mean that he is a culprit.
No one has given any authority to the police to decide on who all should participate in the procession. They are only responsible for providing protection to the procession.

The ceremony that happens in spiritual atmosphere should happen like that this time also. The police should not play spoilsport. The procession should not become a challenge.

In Sabarimala issue, the police have taken more than 2000 cases. Thousands are accused in cases while police have identified more than 10,000 persons. Many steps are there before the cases reach the court.

But this is an area where there are visible contradictions. Police approach to those miscreants in the ruling side is different from those in opposite side. The attack on SBI bank during the recent National strike is a good example. Despite the evidence of CCTV visuals, the police have not made any arrest in this regard till date.
Even in the case of those who blocked trains, the police are not showing the alertness they show in scrutinising the horoscope of Thiruvabharanam procession participants. That is the truth.

Just getting accused in a case does not disqualify anyone from taking part in the procession. This is a matter of belief and devotion. The police can go ahead with the cases even after Makaravilakku.

It is unfair if the police ban persons from everything for their minor offences and that too in country where even murder accused can contest Assembly and Parliament elections.

Even the police very well know that rope for the flag mast at Padmanabha Swamy temple is made by prisoners of Thiruvananthapuram Central jail.