Kerala temple to defend patenting of deity

May 26th, 2009 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 26 (IANS) Authorities at the Attukal Devi temple here Tuesday said they will legally defend their right to patent the temple deity and also its title “Sabarimala of Women”, a day after the Kerala High Court registered a case against the granting of trade mark certificates to the shrine.
A division bench Monday listed the Attukal Devi Trust as a respondent in the case registered on a letter faxed to the high court by R.S. Praveen Raj, a 30-year-old scientist in National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology.

The temple trust in March this year got the certification of trademark on the picture of Attukal deity and the title.

In the letter, Raj has alleged that patenting of the deity and the temple name means that these were business projects and not in tune with religious spirit.

“The most objectionable area in this matter is the ill logic of having trademark in faith symbols. Moreover, trademark certification, originally intended for commercial advantage, is quite inappropriate for religious symbols, as it passes a wrong message to the public that a place of worship also is a ‘business outfit’ or ‘origin of trade and commerce’,” he said.

An official of the temple board said they were yet to get the papers from the high court.

“We have no other option but to seek legal recourse and we will do that. We are waiting for the papers to come… we will meet our legal experts and take up the issue,” said the official pleading anonymity.

One of the ancient temples of south India and popularly known as “Sabarimala of Women”, Attukal temple is situated in the heart of the city. Over the years, the number of women attending the annual festival that takes place in the first week of March has crossed three million.

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