Purification ceremony result of RSS superstition: Congress

Panaji: The alleged purification of the site where Manohar Parrikar’s mortal remains were kept for public veneration is the outcome of RSS’s superstitious ideology that is being endorsed by the BJP government, Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar said on Sunday.

He said the ‘purification’ controversy had opened a Pandora’s box about performance of religious rituals and practices in government offices and at official functions and demanded that the state government come up with a comprehensive policy on the issue.

“The purification ceremony is the result of the same RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) mindset which is ruling the country, which is boosting superstitious beliefs. Yesterday’s incident at the Kala Academy is an outcome of the same ideology,” Kawthankar told IANS.

His comment comes a day after Goa Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude was forced to order a probe after staffers at the government-run Kala Academy hired Hindu priests on Saturday to allegedly perform a “purification ceremony” of the site where Chief Minister Parrikar’s mortal remains were kept for public veneration on March 18.

Parrikar died after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer on March 17.

“I have taken a strong note of some activities carried out in the Kala Academy premises as rituals today. I have ordered an inquiry into it. We cannot promote or patronise unscientific activities inside government buildings,” Gaude said, after a video and photographs of the ceremony went viral on social media.

Kawthankar said the incident had the potential to open the proverbial Pandora’s box vis-a-vis regular performance of religious rituals and practices in government offices.

Police stations and government offices in the state installing idols of Lord Ganesh or depicting the scenes of Jesus Christ’s birth during Christmas are common place in Goa.

Kawthankar said the government should come up with a comprehensive policy to tackle the issue of state endorsement of religious practices.