Infighting affects functioning of board, says TDB secretary

via Pioneer News Service | Kochi published on April 8, 2008

Travancore Dewaswom Board (TDB) secretary Suresh Jeevan has said that
the infighting between the members and the president is creating
problems for the functioning of the Board and to convene the mandatory
meetings. He said this in an affidavit to the Kerala High Court on
Tuesday.
 
The Board secretary was responding to a petition filed by the president
of the Chunakkara Kunasery Kovil, Ravindran Pillai as to why the Board
is not meeting properly.
 
It may be recalled that ever since the new Board has assumed office,
the fights between the members P Narayanan and Sumathy Kutty Amma on
the one side and president CK Gupthan on the other side has been in the
news. The State Minister for Dewaswoms G Sudhakaran is seen supporting
the Board president creating antagonising situation among the members.
 
The Travancore Dewaswom Board is the body in charge of around 1,800
temples and even the funds for the day-to-day activities of these
temples have to be sanctioned from the Board. As the festival season in
the State is progressing the festivals of most of the temples under the
TDB are in a shambles as even for the maintenance of the caparisons of
elephant, there need to be a sanction from the board.
 
As the board cannot hold its meeting owing to the difference of opinion
between the president and the members, the sanction never comes and
this has created huge difficulties for the respective festival
committees of the temples which has to function from the shoestring
budget it gets from the local collections. This has reduced the pomp
and galore of the temple festivals which are considered as the annual
festival of each region.
 
Board president CK Guptan had earlier gone on record that he was irked
by the behaviour of the members and that he had felt of thrashing the
woman member Sumathi Kutty Amma several times. The Minister G
Sudhakaran and the Board member P Narayanan has also entered into
verbal duel and both had crossed the limits making the board a laughing
stock among the people of the State.
 
The Sabarimala Ayyapa Swamy temple which is considered as one of the
largest congregation of devotees in any temple of the country comes
under the TDB and even the annual Makaravilakku festival of the temple
had suffered following the difference of opinion among the
office-bearers of the Board.

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