KUALA LUMPUR: MIC today urged the Batu Caves temple committee and Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) to maintain professionalism in settling their differences over the Thaipusam ritual of carrying kavadi.
Speaking at a press conference here, MIC information chief L Sivasubramaniam expressed dismay over the quarrel that has gone on between the two authorities since Jan 4, when MHS announced its guidelines for devotees to follow during the annual celebration this Friday.
Batu Caves temple president R Nadarajah has criticised MHS for its initiative, saying: “Who is Hindu Sangam to come up with its own rules?”
He has also attacked former MHS president A Vaithilingam by describing him as “an old man” who could “barely walk.”
MHS’s guidelines include a prescription on the types of kavadi to carry, advice on religious attire and a prohibition of alcohol and tobacco. There are also prohibitions on swords, poles, tridents and whips.
Sivasubramaniam said the two parties, instead of fighting, should be leading the Hindu community by example.
“I hope they will improve the ties between them for the betterment of the Indian community,” he said.
“Thaipusam is a holy festival and kavadi bearers should follow the teachings of our ancestors.”
Sivasubramaniam also spoke about tomorrow’s Ponggal celebration, saying MIC would host festivities in Brickfields in the evening.
“MIC invites everyone to join in the event,” he said, adding that he expected about 500 people to turn up.
He also said MIC would distribute free food to about 10,000 people during the chariot procession to Batu Caves this Friday.