And thus ended the temple tamasha...
A sprinkling of holy water -- finally, that was all it took to settle the unholy dust which Kerala's
temple tamasha has been kicking up these past couple of weeks.
Friday, Thiruvalla Sri Vallabha temple thantri (chief priest) Akkeeramon Kalidas Bhattathiripad sprinkled theerthom (holy water) on melshanthi Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri before leading him inside for the noon pooja.
Namboodiri, who had 'sinned' by crossing the seas, had been barred from the temple till he did penance. He had refused to do any such thing. Much tension was created, with both the thantri and the melshanti sticking to own stands.
The Travancore Devaswom Board, the temple's governing body, however, stood by Namboodiri and ordered his reinstatement. But the thantri and the temple advisory committee were on their own conservative trip, forcing the Board to get tough.
It fired two of its officials for failing to carry out its reinstatement orders and served the thantri a show cause notice.
Bhattathiripad suddenly saw light. And with a little persuasion from the temple action committee (formed exclusively to sort out the controversy), he agreed to a compromise: Instead of Namboodiri's reciting the Gayatri mantra 1,008 (as the thantri had insisted earlier), a simple sprinkling of holy water would do.
"I crossed the seas in the larger interest of Hinduism. It doesn't amount to a sin," Namboodiri told the Rediff On The NeT, "I am happy about my reinstatement without punaravrodha (reinstallation)."