Press Esc to close

Row over 'Ayyappa Deeksha' circular to Andhra Pradesh cops

HYDERABAD, Nov 20, 2012,DHNS: 22:48 IST
An internal circular of the police department denying exemption to its personnel who are on “Ayyappa Deeksha” (a religious ritual followed by the devotees of Lord Ayyappa), has triggered a row in Andhra Pradesh (AP).

During the 41-day ritual prior to visiting Sabarimala in Kerala for darshan of Lord Ayyappa, the devotees follow strict regimen which include wearing black robes, consuming food without salt, being barefoot, growing a beard, sleeping on the floor, shun worldly pleasures and perform bhajans every morning and evening. However, a recent circular issued by the Police Commissioner of Cyberabad, notified the policemen not to wear black dress or sport beard while on duty. “Permission will not be granted to police personnel to wear black dress while on duty. They will not be allowed to grow hair and beard and perform duties without footwear. Policemen desirous of observing Deeksha can apply for leave for the same,” the circular said.

Several employees had submitted applications seeking permission to follow austerities as part of the “Deeksha” before going to Sabarimala. The Deeksha which commenced on November 16 stipulates a strict regimen for the devotees. AP accounts for the maximum number of Ayyappa devotees visiting Sabarimala every year.

According to an estimate, more than 40 per cent of the one crore odd pilgrims visiting Sabarimala were from AP and this number is expected to go up this year. A large number of state government employees, including hundreds of police personnel, take up the Deeksha every year. The BJP has taken a serious note of the circular and dubbed it as an affront on the religious sentiments of the Hindus. “No other department has imposed such a restriction on the employees. The police personnel too have their religious faith.
Why should they be denied the right to perform the Deeksha in which they have to follow certain norms? It is nothing but infringement on the right to religious freedom,” said the party spokesman N V S S Prabhakar.

He pointed out that Muslim police personnel were allowed to sport a beard and to go to Friday prayers regularly, besides being given special privileges in the Holy month of Ramzan.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Bollywood actress and BJP MP Hema Malini performs during 'Braj Holi Raso Utsav' in Mathura...

Bollywood actress and BJP MP Hema Malini performs during 'Braj Holi Raso Utsav' in Mathura...

Children play with 'gulal' ahead of Holi festival in Kolkata on Sunday...

Children play with 'gulal' ahead of Holi festival in Kolkata on Sunday...

The Indian cricket team pose for a photo with their trophy after beating South Africa in the...

The Indian cricket team pose for a photo with their trophy after beating South Africa in the...

File Photo of Bollywood superstar Sridevi Kapoor, receiving Padma Shri from the then President...

File Photo of Bollywood superstar Sridevi Kapoor, receiving Padma Shri from the then President...

A bird feeds on the seasonal flowers at Dudhnai in Assam state’s Goalpara District on...

A bird feeds on the seasonal flowers at Dudhnai in Assam state’s Goalpara District on...

Canadian short-track speed skater Kim Boutin leads team Canada into the Olympic stadium...

Canadian short-track speed skater Kim Boutin leads team Canada into the Olympic stadium...

Sridevi fans wait outside her residence at Lokhandwala Complex, in Andheri, north-west, Mumbai...

Sridevi fans wait outside her residence at Lokhandwala Complex, in Andheri, north-west, Mumbai...

Men and women play 'Lathmaar Holi' on the occasion of Fag Mahoutsav at historical Govind Dev Ji...

Men and women play 'Lathmaar Holi' on the occasion of Fag Mahoutsav at historical Govind Dev Ji...

Students take a selfie during Holi celebration in Visva-Bharati University Campus at Sriniketan...

Students take a selfie during Holi celebration in Visva-Bharati University Campus at Sriniketan...

People celebrate Latthmaar Holi in Barsana near Mathura on Saturday...

People celebrate Latthmaar Holi in Barsana near Mathura on Saturday...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.