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Entry of Non-Hindus in Guruvayoor

Recently there was a controversy in Kerala over Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s visit to Guruvayoor temple. It seems his wife entered the temple and the issue was if she was a Christian or a Buddhist. In Guruvayoor temple only Hindus are allowed to enter and there is a strict dress code. Men have to remove their shirt and wear a mundu. Women are allowed to wear only sarees and girls have to wear a skirt and blouse.

This is one busy temple and there is a guard at the door checking to see if you confirm to the dress code and I am not sure if he checks the religion also. If so, it would be an amazing skill, for there is no easy way to find the religion of an Indian, unless he is wearing a symbol, like the cross. Due to this it is possible for people of any religion to enter the temple, but only famous people are stopped.

So when Congress leader, Vayalar Ravi’s son’s marriage was conducted in Guruvayoor, the authorities had to clean the temple because Vayalar Ravi’s wife was a Christian. If it were two ordinary folks, no one would have questioned this nor cleaned the temple. Other famous people who have been denied entry are singer Yesudas, who is a devotee of Guruvayoorappan and poet Yusuf Ali Kecheri, who lives close to the temple and has written many devotional songs.

But then how can we assume that all Hindus too are devotees? Communists are known to be atheists and what is the logic in allowing them to enter the temple. Recently in a statement, the temple authorities said that people of Buddhist and Jain faiths are allowed entry, since they are treated on par with Hinduism. This even more odd since both these religions do not recognize God as Hindus do. In Jainism, there is no creator god and a person is responsible for his actions. Buddha claimed that his enlightenment was not due to any divine intervention. It seems illogical that when followers of such agnostic religions are allowed entry, people who believe in Guruvayoorappan are not.

Related Links: Anand writes on the reforms initiated by his father at Guruvayoor. Bhavane rolls his eyes as he reads about the marxist temple minister. Rajeev Srinivasan makes the counterpoint.

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