Nashik: Controversial 'Om Certificates' Initiative by Ranjit Savarkar's Om Pratishthan Sparks Debate in Trimbakeshwar

Nashik: Controversial 'Om Certificates' Initiative by Ranjit Savarkar's Om Pratishthan Sparks Debate in Trimbakeshwar

The initiative was introduced to maintain the sanctity of prasad, which is sometimes mixed with impure or forbidden ingredients, thereby hurting the sentiments of Hindu devotees.

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 05:56 PM IST
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Nashik: Controversial 'Om Certificates' Initiative by Ranjit Savarkar's Om Pratishthan Sparks Debate in Trimbakeshwar |

A new initiative by Ranjit Savarkar's Om Pratishthan to distribute "Om Certificates" to prasad sellers in Trimbakeshwar has sparked controversy. The certificates, aimed at ensuring that prasad sold at Hindu religious sites and pilgrimage places is made from pure and unadulterated ingredients, were distributed in the presence of Ranjit Savarkar, actor Sharad Ponkshe, Mahamandeleshwar Aniket Shastri Deshpande, among others. However, the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANIS) has raised objections to this initiative.

The initiative was introduced to maintain the sanctity of prasad, which is sometimes mixed with impure or forbidden ingredients, thereby hurting the sentiments of Hindu devotees. The Om Certificates were given to sellers to confirm that their prasad is prepared in a sattvic manner.

While interacting with the media, Ranjit Savarkar, Founder President of Om Pratishthan, expressed concerns that devotees from outside villages often struggle to find pure prasad. He claimed that there is a deliberate attempt to defile prasad with impure ingredients, describing it as 'Shraddha Jihad' aimed at corrupting Hinduism. Savarkar highlighted incidents where pedhas, a type of sweet offered as prasad, were allegedly made with cow fat to force Hindus into consuming beef, which is against their religious beliefs.

Meanwhile, ANIS has questioned whether this initiative is genuinely about maintaining the purity of offerings or if it serves as a means of social alienation. They pointed out that Trimbakeshwar, being a significant place of worship, has vendors of various castes and religions. The claim that someone has tampered with prasad can create confusion and suspicion among devotees and businessmen.

ANIS has criticised the movement for distributing certificates without involving the government's Food Adulteration Prevention and Food Safety Department. They argued that ensuring the purity of all food items, not just prasad, should be the responsibility of the government, which should regularly inspect food items at religious places of all religions. Instead of taking such measures, ANIS claims that the distribution of these certificates is illegal and arbitrary.

ANIS has also accused the Om Pratishthan of taking the law into their own hands, suppressing business freedom, and spreading religious hatred and suspicion. They urged that strict legal action be taken against organiszations that conduct such public programs under the guise of religion.

In a statement, Maharashtra ANIS President Avinash Patil and Principal Secretary Dr TR Gorane emphasised the need for legal intervention to curb these activities and maintain social harmony.

Case against 3 guards of Nashik temple for manhandling 2 devotees

Meanwhile, a case has been registered against three security guards deployed at a famous temple in Maharashtra's Nashik district for allegedly manhandling two devotees, police said on Monday.

The incident took place on Sunday morning at the Trimbakeshwar temple, which has been witnessing huge crowds of devotees in view of the long weekend this time, they said.

A 60-year-old woman in her police complaint alleged that a security guard pushed her son and abused him while he was paying obeisance to the deity at the temple.

Later, some guards came outside the temple and allegedly abused her and her son.

The woman alleged she fell down some steps and received a head injury.

Based on the woman's complaint, a case was registered against three persons under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation), an official from the Trimbakeshwar police station said.

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