Sree Narayana Guru Mandiram, based in Chennai, announced a day long celebration on August 22 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Aruvipuram Pratishta.
The ceremony marks the consecration of a Shivalingam by Narayana Guru, challenging the age-old custom that restricted the right of consecration of idols in temples exclusively to Brahmins.
Speaking at the announcement of the celebrations on Tuesday, A Karunanandan , professor, department of Indian History, University of Madras, said that Aruvipuram Pratishta, held in 1888, was a radical event in the history of inclusion.
“Sree Narayana Guru carried out the consecration of the Shivalingam at a time when even entry into the temple was banned for lower caste people. This incident spearheaded various other movements for temple entry, including the ‘Vaikom Sathyagraha’, of which EVR Periyar was a part”, he said.
The greatness of the Sree Narayana Guru lies in the fact that he did not allow hatred of other communities and castes to come in his struggle for an inclusive society, he said.
Karunankaran also added that Narayanan Guru must not be restricted as the leader of one community alone as he fought for an inclusive society for all castes and religions.
The anniversary celebrations will include free medical camp, inauguration of the Mandiram Matrimonial website, inauguration of Mandiram Ayurvedic Centre, processions, feast and various other cultural programs.