Guruvayur Devaswom board's decision to allow Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan's entry into the famous Guruvayur Temple has sparked a major controversy. The temple, known for its strict entry policy allowing only Hindus, drew criticism for welcoming the governor, while opposing the entry of renowned singer KJ Yesudas, a non-Hindu.
The Yesudas Dilemma: A Devotee Denied Entry
Noted singer KJ Yesudas, who has sung numerous songs in praise of Lord Krishna and desires to visit the Guruvayur Temple, faced staunch opposition from the temple's priests and others. Despite being a Christian, Yesudas, a disciple of legendary vocalist Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, expressed his wish to visit and sing for Lord Krishna. The denial of his entry sparked outrage among supporters, questioning the temple's inconsistent approach.
Governor's Welcoming Ritual 'Thulabharam'
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, appointed by the BJP, was not only allowed entry into the temple but also permitted to undergo the 'thulabharam' ritual. During this ritual, a devotee is weighed against offerings such as bananas. The warm welcome extended to Governor Khan by the Guruvayur Devaswom board, including temple officials, further fueled the controversy.
Critics, including prominent Keralites, condemned the Guruvayur Devaswom board for its perceived "double standard" and demanded an explanation. The contrasting treatment of Yesudas and Governor Khan, as non-Hindus seeking entry, raised concerns about discrimination in the temple's entry policy. The board faced calls for equal treatment and consistency in applying its rules.
Board's Response: Clarification and Affirmation
When approached for comment, Dr VK Vijayan, Chairman of the Guruvayur Devaswom board, clarified that Governor Khan was only allowed in the 'thulabharam' area and did not approach the sanctum sanctorum. Dr Vijayan affirmed that 'thulabharam' would be permitted for Yesudas, but emphasized that entry into the sanctum sanctorum remained strictly for Hindus. Yesudas, currently in the US, was unavailable for comment on the matter.