MADIKERI: The prohibition on women scaling Bramhagiri Hills in Talacauvery stating that women affected the sanctity of the pilgrim centre had stirred strong opposition from the Kodava community. Uniting against the stand of the astrologer Narayana Puduval, the ‘Kodava Freethinkers...’, a closed group on Facebook, strongly voiced its opposition and took the issue to the Kodagu deputy commissioner, who reportedly told them that the temple cannot take unilateral decisions outside the purview of its prescribed duties.
Responding to the issue, Talacauvery temple committee President BS Thammaiah said: “We have heard the various suggestions predicted by the astrologer. However, the final decision is pending and the committee has not come to any conclusion. The astrologer has suggested various principles to be followed while mounting Bramhagiri Hills, which is a sacrosanct place of Seer Agasthya. The astrologer has suggested righteous methods to be followed while taking a dip at Talacauvery. The ritual questioning will continue in June and the final decision will be taken in the presence of temple Tantri, the committee and other officials.”
While the decision is still pending, the Kodava community is alert and voicing its dissent against patriarchal chauvinism. Kusum Nehru Mallangada, founder of Komfort Foundation and Nelakki Bolchaa, said: “We are planning to talk to former MP Prema Cariappa, so that it becomes easier for us to talk to anyone in the government or district administration. If nothing works, all the women of Kodagu need to stage an agitation to force our agenda. If the male chauvinism of the temple wins, we will bring up this issue in the Legislative Assembly and submit a memorandum to the government.”
Nevertheless, the temple committee maintains that no decision has been taken to ban women from mounting the Bramhagiri and the final stand will be taken only after the completion of the ritual of octagonal questioning.