Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister V. Muraleedharan visited the Vellayani Devi temple in Kerala amidst a controversy over the use of saffron decor at the temple. The minister was seen wearing saffron, and the temple officials present were also clad in the same colour.
The controversy began when the police filed a case under non-bailable sections against eight people, including members of the temple advisory committee, for decorating the temple premises with saffron flags and torans. In addition, 58 people were identified as accused in the case.
The police action was criticized for not respecting political equality, and it sparked a huge protest. The police also reportedly barged into the houses of the temple advisory committee members, abusing them, including women.
Against this backdrop, V. Muraleedharan visited the temple and spoke with the temple advisory committee members and priests. The BJP State Secretary Adv. Suresh and Municipal Opposition Leader MR Gopan accompanied the Union Minister.
During his visit, V. Muraleedharan criticized the state government for being intolerant and allergic to the colour saffron. He argued that saffron is a symbol of India’s Sanatana Dharma and is reflected in the national flag. He said that the people of Kerala will not accept the action of banning saffron.
The controversy over the use of saffron decor in temples has been a contentious issue in Kerala, with some groups viewing it as a symbol of Hindutva politics. However, many Hindus consider saffron to be a sacred colour associated with spirituality and worship.