STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

State stands divided over a Jumbo; Pooram stares at crisis

It is partially blind after his mahout struck on his left eye with an iron-hooked stick decades ago. It has killed as many as 14 people so far.

Published: 09th May 2019 01:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2019 01:36 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose (Express Photo | Albin Mathew)

Express News Service

THRISSUR: As the fate of this year’s Thrissur Pooram hangs in balance, the centre of the controversy is one of the most revered elephants of Kerala. It is partially blind after his mahout struck on his left eye with an iron-hooked stick decades ago. It has killed as many as 14 people so far.

Yet, Thechikottukavu Ramachandran, the 55-year-old jumbo has a fan following that rivals film stars, especially in central Kerala where captive elephants are still a feudal status symbol of the festival venues. What is more, the entire state is now divided over Thechikottu Kavu Ramachandran after the state government denied permission to feature the elephant in Thrissur Pooram after it killed two women recently during a private programme.

On the one side, the Thrissur district administration is determined to not feature the elephant in Thrissur Pooram. On the other hand, the jumbo owners have upped their ante against the authorities saying they would boycott Thrissur Pooram by not sending elephants for the festivals from Saturday. The social media is crying foul over the reported absence of the ‘superstar’ elephant in the Thrissur Pooram, despite his notoriety.

He was put behind the bars of Kodanad elephant shelter after he struck down three women at a temple festival at Rayamangalam near Kochi in 2013. Yet, he is still a superstar among the elephants in Kerala. According to Elephant Owners’ Federation general secretary V Sasikumar, a meeting convened during the first week of April in the presence of two ministers had assured the jumbo owners that there would not be any ban on the elephant. However, authorities went back from their word and banned it over some freak mishaps. “We would not cooperate with the festivals if the ban exists as other elephants would have to face the same situation. We have to be careful to avoid a similar situation and banning elephants will not serve the purpose,” he said.

Sujith Thiriyadan, secretary of ‘Koottu Kombanmar,’ an outfit which works for the welfare of elephants and mahouts, said “we are saddened by the developments related to Ramachandran. We wish to see him in all its glory than any controversy, he said.

Sidelights

Ban on shoes inside temple sought
Thrissur: Bharatheeya Sevashramam, a cultural and political organisation based here, demanded a ban on wearing shoes inside Sree Vadakkumnathan temple compound during Thrissur Pooram. Swami Nirmalandanda, spiritual leader of the organisation said as per practice, devotees were not allowed to wear shoes inside the compound wall. “During pooram days, public enter the temple premises wearing chappals. It should be prohibited. When VIPs are visiting the temples, the security measures are followed as per protocol, despite the crowd who visit,” he said. 

Thrissur dist admn to hold mock drill

The district administration will conduct a mock drill on Thursday at Nandhanam auditorium in Thiruvambady Devaswom building in connection with Thrissur Pooram.  District Collector T V Anupama will lead the mock drill in which State Disaster Management Authority officers, assistant district magistrate, Disaster Management deputy collector, revenue district officer, city police commissioner, NDRF personnel and others will be present. 

Forest Minister sets record straight

Forest and Wildlife Minister K Raju said at a press conference here: “Our officer had sent a letter to the committee headed by the Thrissur District Collector that parading Thechikottukavu Ramachandran at the pooram is ‘undesirable’. It was a letter and not an order.” “The warden had clearly cited the reasons. The elephant is partially blind. The parading of the elephant is not outrightly denied even at present,” he said.

 

 

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp