Kerala rationalists go to court on ‘celestial light’

Saturday, January 22, 2011

KOCHI - A rationalist organisation in Kerala, Yukthivadi Sanghom, has approached the state high court, to intervene in the “celestial light” phenomenon near the Sabarimala temple, claiming it is man-made.

Showing photos of the place where he claimed the event takes place, Sanghom official Sreeni Pattathanam told reporters Saturday: “This is the place where a group of people create the light that appears on Makara Jyoti day. This has to be stopped.”

The Sanghom petition has sought the court to implead the state government and its departments of forest, home, devasom and electricity in the case.

Sanghom president Sanal Edamarku has also filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking its intervention on the issue.

Believers consider the light appearing on the Makara Jyoti day divine and hundreds of thousands of them gather in Sabarimala and nearby hillocks to witness the spectacle.

This year the event caught nation-wide attention when a stampede at Pulumedu, about 30 km from Sabarimala, claimed the lives of 102 pilgrims and left over 60 injured.

The Kerala High Court has already taken up the stampede and has criticised the state government for not taking adequate steps to manage the crowds.

The case will come up in the court Monday.

In a related development, state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala has said that in the best interest of all, it would be good that if responsible people do not get into any sort of discussion regarding issues of faith and belief.

Filed under: Religion

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