Forum: No-procession decision for Thaipusam disappointing but rational

I was saddened when it was announced that in next month's Thaipusam festival, the foot procession from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple will not be carried out (No procession, but Thaipusam festival will proceed, Dec 11).

I expected this but I had hoped that the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) could have allowed smaller groups of devotees to participate, just as it has capped the number of paal kudams (milk pots) available, as well as the number of people accompanying the devotee bearing a paal kudam.

Thaipusam is a much-awaited key Hindu ceremony which is held annually on a grand scale. Thousands of devotees take part in this most passionate spiritual celebration.

I understand that it will be challenging to observe safety guidelines should a huge crowd throng temples for this occasion.

This is a difficult but rational decision that we need to respect as our health and lives are of utmost important during this ongoing pandemic.

Devotees can still observe prayers in our own homes and fulfil our vows quietly with our family members.

But I appeal to HEB to allow more than one person to accompany a devotee bearing a paal kudam, since it has already capped the number of paal kudams available.

Balu Visvanathan

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