Palottukavu fest: Ban on Muslims from entering temple precincts kicks up row

The festival at the kavu began on April 14 and will conclude on April 19.  

Published: 17th April 2022 07:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2022 07:07 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KANNUR: Close on the heels of denial of permission to Vinod Panikkar, of Karivellur, to perform poorakkali as his son had married a Muslim woman, yet another incident has kicked up a controversy at Kunhimangalam, near Payyannur, as a board was put up at the precincts of Malliyottu Palottukavu stating that entry of Muslims is prohibited during festival season. The festival at the kavu began on April 14 and will conclude on April 19.  

Though, here also DYFI, the youth organisation of CPM, has come out against the retrogressive action of temple authorities through a statement, like what they did at Karivellur, local residents say that their protest will have no impact on the outcome of the incident and the board will remain there till the end of the festival. 

DYFI Madayi block committee has condemned the act of setting up a board denying permission to Muslims to enter temple precincts during the festival in a strongly worded statement on Friday. “This is a challenge to secular society. The progress achieved through various fights and movements in connection with Renaissance will be annulled through such acts”, they said. 

“The protest of DYFI will have no impact here as most of the committee members of Palottukavu are CPM supporters. The party will not dare to take action against the temple committee members,” said P P Rajan, a local resident. Kunhimangalam is a place where CPM has an upper hand over its political rivals. There are not many Congress and BJP supporters here, Rajan said. 

The board at Palottukavu was placed on behalf of the Naloori Samudayis, the committee which conducts the festival. “Their argument is that there were some clashes between Muslims and devotees some time in the past. But I have been witnessing festivals here for quite a long time, and I don’t remember any such incidents in the past one or two decades,” said Rajan. 

“If it is Muslims who create problems in temple festivals, it could be there in other festivals in the region also. But the fact is that, apart from Palottukavu, no other kavus or temples have set up boards prohibiting Muslims,” he said. “CPM will not dare to touch the temple committee. The protest will end with the statement of DYFI,” he said. 

“The controversy is the work of some social media activists. They are trying to create unnecessary controversies in connection with the festival. Here, there are many Muslims who conduct business during the festival and they have set up temporary stalls. The only problem is that they are not allowed to enter the temple precincts,” said an official on condition of anonymity. 

According to him, the kavu committee has decided to ignore the controversy and is concentrating on the conduct of the festival which will end on April 19. “Once the festival is over, nobody will discuss the issue. The motive behind those who rake up the issue is obvious. We are not going to help them,” he said.


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