Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Shame of Sabarimala : Annadhanam under TDB

Annadhana Prabhuve, Saranam Ayyappa

It means "The noble who donates food, Ayyappa save us". The legend is not clear about how or why Lord Ayyappa is called so, coincidentally the third step of the Pathinetu padi stands for Annapoorna (the God of food) by crossing this step Ayyappamar assure that they have followed Ayyappa by donating food to peers and made sure any Ayyappamar coming to Sabarimala for Punya Dharishanam is not hungry.

I'm sure this year many Ayyappamar did not fullfil this deed to proudly step on it, they neither received nor gave; they were curbed. Though it was ABASS* who started it all many sangam took up the responsibility to feed the hungry Ayyappamar, people have crossed the toughest times by taking supplies to impossible mountain peak like Karimala, Azhutha; now with roads easing pain kerela government and travancore devaswom board(tdb) is pulling the rug on Seva Sangams.

Image edited from The Hindu

Double standard of kl govt and tbd

Facebook page of District Collector Pathanamthitta kept sharing images promoting and prompting Ayyappamar to bring lesser plastic to Sabarimala and to not pollute the holy forest and shrine. I was like wow! this is awesome, lesser that I knew the govt was in hand with viri guys. Viri is a temporary shelter/hotel deployed inside forest for sheltering Ayyappamars from harsh weather. But no don't come to assumption with the word 'shelter' they don't shelter they actually sell the place that they have rented from govt. they are into business, pretty rough business that chases out Ayyappamar when they enter without money - it is not enough that you buy food from them you have to pay an average of Rs.30 per head to rest there. Night stay comes at higher cost.

Coming back to plastic, these viri guys are the most notorious source to all the non-sense plastic waste from water bottle, biscuit packets and anything that you can think of which comes in plastic package. I was shocked to find the way they dispose it, they use it as fire wood when they run out of wood! And yes the Collector keeps Ayyappamar from polluting Sabarimala as viri guys are doing more than enought to kill the forest.

To add oil to this buring issue, govt thrown more forest space for viri this was most evident in Mukkuzhi, Azhutha. There use to be one Bhagavati temple surrounded by water stream on three side, of these stream two should be crossed by Ayyappamar on their trek route so they have iron brigde to assist, 8 years back only one tender coconut shop was present before first bridge now there are 10 shops; wrost - this year there are ten new viri after the second bridge and Collector keeps advising not to use plastic.

When govt & tdb sided with money

Annadhanam reached its peak 4 years back, Ayyappamar was treated with plenty food that they would taste food and then would decide on eating or throwing away. Yes, its cruel but thats what happens when you have excess. But this also affected the business of viri, which means viri guys are not even going to get what they invested, naturally the state that is kerela which boast its 100% literacy complained about this and wanted to lower the viri tender rate; naturally the sakuni literacy wanted to grow the business by addressing (or crubing) Annadhanam instead of lowering rate for viri or totally lowering count of  viri.

Now for the side story: Some 8 years back I used to see viri that are operated and owned by Tamils and now I'm not able to see any! only keralites so low their pea brain works! Yes literacy has no relation to morale. Back to main story - How the crooked mind addressed the issue?
  1. Kitchen can not be in open area as per "all of a sudden" advice of forest dept - Only viri, ABASS has closed kitchen (and they have the ground work started long back)
  2. Disposable paper plates with aluminium coat cannot be used. But hotels and viri still use them when you ask to parcel food, of course they pay money for it over and below table.
  3. Ayyapamars are to be given food not on the open forest but only inside viri, so even if one sangam fights the odds they have to pay huge amount of money to use viri to help those poor lads to grow business and yes we are talking about holy shrine
Is there a way to fight - yes and no. No, they have the final call its pea brains land after all. Yes, when we come together and express our opinion in strongest manner. I'm not sure about the manner, but I know we can't simply be seated.

Source of Plastic vs Anathanam, Paper plate with aluminim foil is considered to be second legal nail in Annathanam coffin while the first being the "open kitchen" which might cause forest fire. But it is very important to introspect which tool you have used to kill the 'unsighted' danger. There used to be pipes running from Pamba to Periyanavattom, there used to be public taps; now the taps are with the viri and only other source of water is packed in plastic bottle. Most pilgrims does not prefer the cooking of viri guys not just for their lack of taste also for their cleanliness and they turn to biscuits and chips packed in plastic. Govt has managed to increase the plastic waste by curbing one  uncommon source.

Akila Bharatha Ayyapa Seva Sangam

*ABASS (website) was established in Trivandrum and later spread to other towns where Ayyappamar hail from; of many sevas(good deeds), they are best known for their Anadhanam. Which after many years is now being carried out by many other sangams that sprung like mushroom, this is no bad as number of Ayyappamar is rocketing every season, to satisfy this humongous need one sangam is not enough. Still many follow the oldest way of bringing their own supplies and cooking it, intentionally they cook excess and distribute to those who need them. But now Annadhanam is not just impossible but also illegal so much for following Ayyappa.

Ayyappamar who are going to Sabarimala for around 20 years would know what is happening right now in Sabarimala they need no breifing, this is for the newbies to help them understand how cheap and low kerala government and tdb is behaving towards Ayyappamar who were vital in bringing up the temple to such stature. Why now? Because TDB is following TTD in constructing jail kinda shelter to create non existing queue and distributes free biscuits & water to them, no they are not as good as you think; they are even cunning than I know. While ABASS was established to help pligrims even when government was not ready, wonder why? at that point of time there was no Indian government it was 1945.

My credentials: If this has not crossed your mind yet, I raise this by myself. Who I'm to talk on this, what are my credentials? I have completed my 19th year, yes people who crosses 18 years are know to attain the state of guru but no I believe otherwise there is more to be a guru, I'm no guru but a follower with lot of anger on Ayyappa himself.

I have seen Sabarimala shape into a commercial establishment from spiritual one. And I have a rich connection with gurus, networking was not tough as my dad himself is a guru with 40 rich years of Sabarimala yatra expirence with him. These gurus visits Sabarimala not once in a year but whenever possible, for most time of the year Sabarimala needs ABASS because tdb is only interested on money which flows during Makara period. Do you know the Rs.5000 lamp that you have donated to tdb is auctioned for less than Rs.2000, because money is more important to tdb as your lamp is of no use; your hopes to get some punya when you lamp is lit in Sannidhanam is doomed.

Before I conclude, tdb stand on 'no-female' rule is backed by the advice of someone that no female should be allowed to see Ayyappa as he is brahmachari in yogi rupam, and that no women has done so in half-a-century. I agree, probably this could have been requested by Malikapurathamma who has love interest on Ayyappa and she is waiting for him to come back to normal life and marry her. Per same advice Ayyappamar do Annathanam to one-another, why tdb is not taking this into account? Why is it stop and crubbing Annathanam? It is contradicting when you fight to uphold one advice and thwart the other (for money).

Request you to bug this guy @ FB as he did to us-
https://www.facebook.com/dc.pathanamthitta

More:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/concern-over-move-to-curb-annadanam-at-sabarimala/article7825702.ece
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/Bring-Annadanam-Under-TDB-Control-HC/2015/10/29/article3102643.ece

Will update the post with change.org petition.