//Unnikrishna Panicker : " They are not ready to endorse me as I am not Brahmin"

Unnikrishna Panicker : " They are not ready to endorse me as I am not Brahmin"

Friday June 30 2006 MALAPPURAM:

"The allegations levelled against me are part of a conspiracy by ‘‘Brahmins against non-Brahmins," according to Astrologer Parappanangadi Unnikrishna Panicker.

At a news conference here, he denied the charges levelled against him by the Sabarimala Thantri, and said: ‘‘As I am a non-Brahmin, they are not ready to endorse my findings. The allegation against me is that I am trying to make a controversy and gain cheap publicity out of the ‘woman-at-Sabarimala’ issue. I am already famous. I don’t need such publicity gimmicks.’’

Refuting the allegations that there were ‘‘personal interest’’ or ‘conspiracy’ involved in the revelation made through the Ashtamangala Devaprasnam, Panicker said that if the Thantri disbelieved him, he should have left him out of the Devaprasnam from the beginning.

‘‘It was after the Devaswom Board president came personally that I readied myself for this Ashtamangala Devaprasnam. Ten years ago I was sent back from Sabarimala. But now when I was asked to conduct the Prasnam I told the Devaswom president that I would tell the truth whatever it might be’’, the astrologer said adding that the pooja had been conducted in the very presence of the Thantri.

He said that it was not just the ‘woman-at-Sabarimala’ issue that had cropped up during the Prasnam. ‘‘On the other hand, a whole lot of anomalies that are soiling the sanctity of the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple were revealed. They include the use of chlorinated water for washing the idol and the fleecing of devotees by traders and businessmen in and around the temple. Sometimes, even a glass of water there costs Rs 100 to Rs 200. Such is the kind of fleecing being carried out by avaricious businessmen there. Such business interests are destroying the sanctity of the temple,’’ he said.

Another anomaly is the use of donkeys by the devotees to carry their belongings. Many donkeys die on the way, contributing to the soiling of the temple’s sanctity, Panicker said.

Alleging that women had been coming to the temple with the consent of the temple authorities, Panicker said: ‘‘Our stand was that there shouldn’t be any controversy over the woman issue. All I suggested was a solution to the problem created by the desecration of the temple by the entry of a woman, and I never meant to make any controversy out of it.’’

‘‘There is no basis in the charge by the Thantri that I am a problem-maker wherever I go. I have held ‘Prasnams’ at all the prominent temples, in Kerala and outside the state, such as Madurai Meenakshi temple. No such allegations were ever levelled against me,’’ he said, adding that a prominent industrialist had expressed his willingness to sponsor the rope-way at Sabarimala in order to dispense with the use of donkeys by the devotees.

‘‘The Devaswom should take efforts to give regular food to the devotees,’’ he said.

Cheruvalli Narayanan Namboothiri and R. Chandrasekharan were also present at the news conference.

‘Since I am a non-Brahmin, they are not ready to endorse my findings’

Genuiness, motive behind Devaprasnam suspicious, says BJP

Madurai, June 30. (PTI): The BJP today voiced suspicion about the genuineness and the motive behind the Devaprasnam (Physical utterances) of a leading astrolger regarding a woman entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Ayyappan temple at Sabarimala and touching the deity.

Party leader L Ganesan told reporters here that the motive of Psychic-cum-Astrologer Parappanangadi Unnikrishnan Panicker seemed to be to defame and bring disrepute to the temple, visited by lakhs of devotees from across the world.

He alleged that Panicker had done the same thing in the famous Venkatachalapathy temple at Tirupati and Murugan temple at Palani. "There seems to be a conspiracy to make popular Hindu temples, unpopular. Maybe Panicker is part of that conspiracy"

Ganesan demanded to know how one could explain Panicker's remarks that a woman artiste (Jaimala) had entered the sanctum sanctorum 18 years ago and touched the idol. "It all seems to be a drama.'

He pointed out that rumours were also being spread about the Shiv Lingam at Amarnath. "Those who perpetrate such debates have one aim, to destroy the confidence and the faith of the Hindus"

He also expressed concern about conversions in many States in India and said only the BJP was opposing the same.