Debate on Letting Non-Hindus into Temples Resurfaces in Kerala

KERALA, October 25, 2017 (Daily Pioneer): Debate has resurfaced in Kerala over whether non-Hindus who believe in Hindu faith should be allowed to offer worship at Hindu temples with an important temple personality supporting the idea of allowing non-Hindus at the famous Guruvayur temple and major political parties like the CPI(M), CPI and Congress joining the campaign for bringing in changes to the ritual systems at Hindu shrines. While the CPI(M) said that the LDF Government led by it would take steps to find a consensus among all stakeholders, its coalition partner CPI opined that all non-Hindus who believed in Hindu faith should be allowed to worship at temples even as the Congress assured its own support and that of the UDF it is leading to the suggestion.

The debate has been rekindled with a statement by Chennas Dinesan Namboothirippad, traditional chief priest (Tantri) of the famous Lord Krishna temple at Guruvayur, Thrissur. “Like in the case of Guruvayur temple, every Hindu shrine has its distinct ritual system. The Tantri does not have the authority to change it. Customs come into being as per the peculiarities of times. It is up to the Government to take the initiative for discussions in the matter. If the Government is prepared for that the Tantri family would cooperate with it,” he said. He told the media that rules should be formulated in this regard through discussions with the Tantris, religious scholars and other concerned sections. Several Hindu outfits also support the proposal but some of them are apprehensive of the possibility of temples turning into centers of cultural tourism in the absence of proper caution.