Sabarimala ‘celestial light’ man-made, admit authoritiesApril 25th, 2011 - 1:16 pm ICT by IANS
Kochi, April 25 (IANS) The ‘celestial light’ at the Sabarimala temple on Makara Sankranthi day is actually man-made, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) told the Kerala High Court Monday, three months after a stampede killed 102 pilgrims there.
The board, which oversees the functioning of all temples in Kerala’s southern districts, said this in an affidavit to the court, putting an end to speculation on the so-called celestial light.
TDB said it had never called the phenomenon a divine light and for long the fire had been lit by tribals living on the hillock.
TDB’s affidavit was filed in response to the demand made by the court that is currently looking into a series of petitions filed soon after the stampede at Sabarimala Jan 14 when the “celestial light” had appeared three times.
Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham (KYS), a rationalist organisation, has been at the forefront of a campaign against what it calls cheating by the state government and the TDB.
Sanal Edamarukku, an office bearer of the KYS who has been fighting the practice of making an artificial light appear on the horizon and letting it pass as celestial, said finally their stand had been vindicated.
“This affidavit by the TDB has finally come and we are really happy that they spoke the truth,” said Edamarukku.
The Jan 14 stampede occurred when the pilgrims were returning after watching the “celestial Makara Jyothi light”, the most important event of a two-month pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district.
According to believers, the sighting of the celestial light is auspicious and, over the last few years, there has been a huge influx of pilgrims from the three southern states to witness it.
The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine has been going up every year.
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- Lakhs witness 'celestial light' on Sabarimala horizon (Lead) - Jan 15, 2012
- Court asks for revised reports on Sabarimala stampede - Jan 24, 2011
- Will take crowd control steps at Sabarimala: Kerala to court - Jan 21, 2011
- Sabarimala stampede toll 104, Kerala in mourning (Lead) - Jan 15, 2011
- Is Makara Jyothi light man-made or not: Court to Kerala government - Jan 20, 2011
- Kerala High Court wants 'truth' behind Makara Jyothi light (Lead) - Jan 20, 2011
- Sabarimala earnings surge - Dec 04, 2011
- Bodies of 11 Ayyappa pilgrims reach Hyderabad - Jan 16, 2011
- Kerala in mourning for 102 Sabarimala stampede deaths (Third Lead) - Jan 15, 2011
- File petition on Makara Jyothi in high court: Apex court - Feb 26, 2011
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Tags: affidavit, celestial light, divine light, hillock, important event, influx, kerala high court, light man, lord ayyappa, makara jyothi, office bearer, pathanamthitta district, pilgrimage, pilgrims, sabarimala temple, sanal, southern states, stampede, tdb, travancore devaswom board