The Melkote Chaluvanarayana temple administration has submitted a memorandum to the Karnataka Muzrai department to change the name of the daily evening ritual from ‘Deevatige Salaam’ to ‘Sandhya Aarti’.
According to the reports, many Hindu leaders and Dharmika Parishad have taken objection to such practice and have sought to change the name as it finds no mention in the Hindu scripts. Based on that, the Hindu activist groups and devotees have now demanded the district administration change the name of ‘Salaam Aarti’ to ‘Sandhya Aarti’, which is performed to the deity at the Melkote temple in Mandya daily.
Following the demand, the district administration sought a report from the Pandavapura assistant commissioner and temple executive officer in this regard. Deputy Commissioner CS Ashwathi has now written a letter to the State Muzarai commissioner to change the name to ‘Sandhya Aarti’. The Muzarai department is yet to consider the issue of the name change of the ritual.
Earlier, a similar demand was made by the Hindu activist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), who had urged the temple administration committee of Kollur Mookambika temple to do away with ‘Salaam Aarti’, a ritual offered in the temple remembering Tipu Sultan.
The practice of ‘Salaam Aarti’ was started during the reign of Islamic tyrant Tipu Sultan, who had mandated that the temple priests should perform special aarti to the presiding deity in his honour. According to a local historian who spoke to OpIndia, several prominent Hindu temples, including Kollur Mookambika, performed special aartis in the name of Tipu Sultan as a compromise to preserve those religious institutions from destruction.
Professor Shalva Pille Iyengar, head of the department of ancient history and archaeology at the Karnataka State Open University, also reiterated that the introduction of Salaam Aarti happened during the reign of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.