A sign at the gate to a temple in Kannur, Kerala, forbidding Muslims from visiting during the festival has sparked a debate in the neighbourhood. The sign was displayed outside the Malliyottu Palottukavu temple in Kunhimangalam, Kannur, stating that Muslims are not allowed to visit during the festival season, which began on April 14.
It’s worth remembering that the temple caused quite a stir last year when a similar sign with the same inscription was posted. The board’s reappearance has sparked outrage, with many people, including political parties, criticising the measure. In a statement to the media, CPI(M) Kannur district secretary MV Jayarajan called the incident “regrettable.” He added that such measures will cause discord among members of diverse communities.
Likewise, members of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) reacted angrily to the temple’s decision to bar Muslims from accessing the temple premises. The DYFI’s leaders condemned the activity, calling it a “challenge to a secular society.”
Some locals also claim that their protest will have no effect on the resolution of the incident and that the board would remain in place until the conclusion of the festival. The board has been put up by the ‘Naloori Samudayis’, the committee that organises the festival in the temple.
According to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the dispute is the work of certain social media activists. They are attempting to manufacture unneeded controversies in relation to the event. “Many Muslims conduct business here during the festival, and they have set up temporary stalls. The only issue is that they are not permitted to access the temple premises” he stated.
The temple management is yet to issue a remark on the matter.
In a recent incident, the managing committee of Hosa Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi district, barred Muslims from bidding in the annual ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ (annual fair) auction after Muslims in the coastal region closed shops and organised a bandh on March 17 to protest the Karnataka High Court’s judgement on the hijab issue.