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Kerala Temple Asks Devotees to Give Blood to Bathe Kali for Purification Ritual

Minister Kadakampalli Surendran has raised objection and said that they will not allow such a primitive ritual to take place. He added that such practices are a disgrace to Kerala.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:March 9, 2018, 10:38 PM IST
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Kerala Temple Asks Devotees to Give Blood to Bathe Kali for Purification Ritual
Representative image. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ andresr/ Istock.com)
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Thiruvananthapuram: A Kerala temple has issued a public notice for its devotees to “give blood” to bathe goddess Kali. The notice for the annual festival at Deviyodu Kali Temple in Thiruvananthapuram’s Vithura village specifies that small amounts of blood will be drawn from the devotees by government-authorised experts, who would use disposable syringes.

Minister Kadakampalli Surendran has raised a strong objection to this and said that they will not allow such a primitive ritual to take place. He added that such practices are a disgrace to Kerala.

The temple authorities later clarified that they will go ahead with the ritual only if the government allows them to do so, the chief priest also chose to justify the bizarre practise, saying “it cleanses the devotees of their diseases”.

Surendran said, "I have asked the Thiruvananthapuram rural SP and district collector to act on this. Kerala has stopped human sacrifice and animal sacrifice during the Renaissance movement while some people are now trying to bring back these things."

The minister added that irrespective of politics, religion and caste, the people of Kerala should come together to oppose such primitive rituals.

The temple’s chief priest Manikandan said, “The temple is not very interested in the rituals. It is only because of demands from some devotees that we do it. If the devotees want, they can go to the minister and get permission, only then will we do it.”

However, he also added that there is a reason behind doing this ritual and the minister should form a committee led by a psychologist and experts in physics to understand that.

Manikandan said, “They bathe the idol of Kali with a mixture of turmeric, vermilion and a few drops of blood. With the blood, the poison flows out of their bodies and gets absorbed in the idol. It helps many in curing their diseases.”

The ritual has been planned between March 12 and 23.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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