Monday, June 17, 2024

Ensure children do not take part in temple ritual: Kerala HC tells Collector

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the Kannur district collector to ensure that children do not take part in the ‘Thee Chamundi Theyyam, a customary dance of the northern districts of the state.

Theyyam is a traditional religious ritualistic practice in the northern districts of the state and the ‘Thee Chamundi Theyyam’ is one among such forms of Theyyam.

The division bench of Chief Justice SV Bhatti and Justice Basant Balaji also directed the district collector to get instructions on the arguments made in the petition which was filed challenging the involvement of children in the ritual.

The court directive came after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition was filed by Dhisha Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), contending that the children, who are selected for participating in the dance, are thrown into the fire embers a minimum of 101 times, thereby affecting the children’s well-being.

The plea stated that the issue came to the fore when a 14-year-old child was a performer in a Thee Chamundi Theyyam held by the Chirakkal Kovilakam and Chirakkal Temple Trust.

The PIL submitted that the children selected to perform in the dance are from a backward community and are a reminder of the feudal past.

The NGO had informed the Court that they had submitted representations before the relevant authorities, including the Central and state governments but did not receive any response.



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