South India Religious News Updates (3rd Week of November)

 In Christianity, Hinduism, Islam

South India Religious News Updates (3rd Week of November)

Telangana : A Mosque in Hyderabad becomes a Primary Health Centre

In a first, a city mosque now has a primary health centre in a working-class dominated area of the Old City of Hyderabad. The Masjid-e-Ishaq will have a full-fledged primary health centre managed by a team of paramedics and doctors. The initiative of the masjid committee and the Helping Hand Foundation will ensure that about roughly 1.5 lakh population in the area will get access to primary health care.

The centre has come up on 1,000 square feet area on the ground floor of the Masjid-e-Ishaq. It is for the first time any masjid has offered such a huge space for such a facility. Meanwhile, the remaining two upper floors of the mosque will be used for offering prayers and other religious activity. “The primary health centre will provide referral link to State hospitals. Likewise, basic primary and home care including free diagnostics, vitals, performing CPR, Wound Management, Maternal Care and Physiotherapy too will be offered,” said Mujtaba Hasan Askari of Helping Hand Foundation speaking to the media.

He said that the centre will look after the needs of the hundreds of poor people in the slums and that they would serve all regardless of religion and faith.  They said that they would look to provide the same facilities slowly in other mosques too. And that they are aiming to provide free transport to patients on a daily basis and guide them to the right hospital depending upon their ailments. If the need arises, we will take help of our donors for the treatment of people in private hospitals, he added.

Andhra Pradesh : Bhavani Deeksha will begin from Novemebr 19

A ceremony to confer Bhavani deeksha to devotees will begin from November 19 at Kanaka Durga temple atop Indrakeeladri, according to the press release by the temple executive officer V Koteswaramma.

Addressing a press conference at Mallikarjuna Maha Mandapam in Vijayawada on Saturday, Koteswaramma said normally the ceremony to confer Bhavani deeksha begins on Karthika Pournami or Utthana Ekadasi in Karthika Masam.  But this year, devotees will adorn Bhavani Mala begin on November 19 and the Bhavani devotees will relinquish deeksha between December 29 and January 2, 2019 The temple priests would give artha mandala deeksha to devotees between December 9 to 13, Koteswaramma said.

Rituals such as ‘Vigneshwara Pooja,’ ‘Kalasa Sthapana’ and ‘Punyahavachanam’ would be performed by the priests to mark the beginning of the 41-day Bhavani deeksha on November 19, the EO said.    She also said that ‘Agni Prathisthapana’, ‘Satha Chandi Homam’ and other rituals would be conducted as part of the deeksha relinquishment, adding that the Bhavani devotees would relinquish their deeksha from December 29 to January 2, 2019.

Meanwhile, the annual ‘Kalasa Jyothi Utsavam’ of the processional deities of Goddess Kanaka Durga and Lord Malleswara Swamy will be taken out from the Indrakeeladri on December 13.

The idols will be taken in a palanquin and placed on a decorated van at the toll gate. The van will be taken to Sivaramakrishna Kshetram, from where the procession will begin and  reach Indrakeeladri after traversing through main areas of the city. ‘Purnahuti’ will be conducted on the temple premises on January 2 next to mark the end of the Bhavani deeksha relinquishment, she added.


Tamil Nadu : Madras High Court Attempts to protect Temple Properties in the State

In an attempt to protect temple properties, the Madras High Court on last week directed the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) Department to collate details of properties owned by over 36,000 temples under its control and publish the status of the properties on its website within three months.

According to the Press Release, Justice S.M. Subramaniam issued the direction while disposing of a writ petition related to fixation of fair rent for temple property in Tiruvarur. He ordered that the list of rent defaulters, those who were in unlawful occupation of temple properties should be uploaded on the official website of HR & CE Department within three months.

Further, all civil courts in the State were directed to find out the suits instituted against orders passed by the officials under the HR & CE Act and dispose them of expeditiously without any lapse of time. The Registrar General of the High Court was ordered to communicate the direction to all the civil courts in the State.

The other significant direction issued by the judge was to HR&CE Commissioner who was ordered to constitute committees to identify the encroachers, illegal occupants, land grabbers who are in possession of the temple properties and initiate legal action against them before the end of January next year. Observing that huge tracts of temple lands in the State could not have landed in the hands of land grabbers without the connivance of HR & CE officials, the judge directed the Commissioner to constitute separate committees consisting of officials with proven integrity to identify the erring officials and initiate disciplinary action.


Telangana : High Court bans usage of Plastic in Temple premises across the AP &Telangana

Recently Hyderabad High Court  banned the usage of the plastic in temple premises across the two states. Irked by the pollution caused by pilgrim in temples, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court took suo-moto last week and directed both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to inform about the steps being taken to ban the usage of plastic in temple premises.

The bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice SV Bhatt was dealing with the suo-moto PIL filed on the base of the letter by Principal district judge of Nalgonda as part of Supreme Court orders on maintenance of temples in Telangana. The district judge submitted a report before the court regarding facilities made available to pilgrims visiting various temples in the district. The bench directed advocate generals of AP and TS to place their arguments and come up with comprehensive suggestions to stop the menace of plastic usage in temple premises in order to extend better facilities to the pilgrims. Every item wrapped in plastic and carried by pilgrims should be stopped immediately, it said before adjourning the case hearing by two weeks.

Kerala : Finally Mathew Pallikalethu laid to rest

Last week finally in their second attempt in the last 11 days Jacobite family  had put 95 year old Varghese Mathew Pallikalethu alias Mathukutty to rest at St Mary’s Church.

His body was laid to rest in the family vault along with his wife Thankamma Mathew who died in 2003. The funeral rites were held in a peaceful manner, betraying the bitter altercation between the members of Malankara Orthodox Church and Jacobite Syrian Church over rituals, that led to the delay. The Orthodox Church which owns the parish and cemetery had objected to the funeral with a Jacobite priest leading the ceremony, when the body of Mathukutty was first taken for burial earlier.

The thaw in the fight over the ownership of church properties was brokered by the district administration following orders from the National Human Rights Commission to allow the family to conduct funeral as per customs and wish of the dead.

The Chief Minister’s Office followed up on the orders and directed the district administration to conduct the funeral at the earliest. Alappuzha District Collector S Suhas and District Police Chief S Surendran held meetings with family and representatives of both factions. The family was given strict instruction to complete the proceedings before 8 am. Finally, on Tuesday the body of one of the oldest Jacobite members was taken from his house, Pallikalethu, to the parish located about half a kilometre away, at 7 am. It was accompanied by relatives and the laity till the ‘kappela’ in front of the church where five priests, including Mathukutty’s grandson Fr Georgee John, Fr Roju John, Fr Sabu Samuel, Fr Thomas Kaitharam and Fr George Perumpattethu, performed the funeral rites.

A select group of relatives, numbering less than 50, entered the cemetery surrounding the parish from three sides. Mar Aprem Jacobite Syrian Church vicar at Parakode, Fr Georgee conducted the last rites as per his wishes and customs.

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