Serial on Ayappan-Blasphemy by Asianet

published on February 12, 2007


After the controversy over the ‘confession’ by Karnataka actress Jaimala, Sabarimala, the abode of Lord Ayyappa, has become subject of yet another debate. This time, the debate is over certain references made in a television series titled Swami Ayyappan, which tries to present the legends related to Lord Ayyappa.



Hindu Vishwa, the mouthpiece of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Kerala, has raised strong objections to the serial being telecast by Asianet television channel on prime time weekdays for the references it makes to the connection between Lord Ayyappa and Christianity.


The VHP periodical in its latest issue airs the objections of the organisation to the appearance of certain Christian priests in some episodes of the series through Vartha Veekshanan, a regular media analysis column by Nadodi in the VHP periodical under a separate title Blasphemy by Asianet. The series is a Meriland production, directed by Suresh Unnithan.


Though the article criticises the series generally, particular objection has been raised to certain episodes in which a Christian priest appears to make some comments on the relationship between Lord Ayyappa and St Sebastian. The character claims in the episode that the devotees of Lord Ayyappa conclude their pilgrimage with a visit to the Christian church at Arthunkal near Cherthala. The character of the priest also says that the devotees make an offering of the necklace as part of the pilgrimage at the church.


The series says through the characters that all this relate to the ‘brotherly’ relationship between Lord Ayyappa and St Sebastian and the respect they held for each other. It also claims that they had undergone training in marital arts at Cheerappan Chira Tharavdu near Muhamma together.


The Hindu Vishwa article objects to this, describing the mentions as baseless and part of a move intended to misguide Hindus. It also says that many wrong mentions to Hinduism had crept into history through references like these


The Hindu Vishwa write-up is also attacking certain advertisements being aired along with the series. It alleges that the ads associated with the serial are all of non-vegetarian food items. In a particular advertisement, a woman sings “Ayala varuthathundu, karimeen porichathundu…” The article says that such ads appearing along with a serial on Lord Ayyappa amount to insulting the Hindu viewers, who sit to watch the serial with faith and piety in soul. One of the aspects of the 41-day penance for pilgrimage to Sabarimala is adherence to strict vegetarianism.



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