I received a forward that ‘Halal’ Jaggery is being used by Travancore Devaswom for the preparation of Neyappam and Aravana being offered to Sabarimala Ayyappa.This information had a newspaper cutting as supporting document. This is the cutting below.
I cross checked the facts. A case has been filed in Kerala. It transpires that the Devaswom authorities had given the contract for Jaggery to Vardhan Agro Processing Ltd Maharashtra.As the company exports Jaggery to middle East , they are getting it certified as Halal to comply with the Islamic countries rules.So, people may desist from spreading misinformation that disturbs communal harmony.One must exercise caution. Having said this, either the company could have used a label that does not contain the word Halal or the TDB could have ensured that the suppliers use standard labels for supplies made to Sabarimala.The issue raised seems to remain.’ Has Halal process been followed in this case? There seems to be no answer to this critical question.That the said company followed it for export confirms that Halal has been carried out.
Adminstration of Hindu temples must remember that it is not merely money that matters in running of temples,though it is necessary,but the sentiments and practices of the Temples and Hindu Agama are followed strictly. There is a statement by an Islamic scholar that ‘Spitting on Food products is a part of Halal practice’. Halal practice must not be used for any ingredient used for Naivedya, not only for Sabarimala but for all Hindu Deities.
We have evidences of Hindu Temple lands being leased out to non Hindus,this is quite glaring in Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple.This is against Sastras. This is to be avoided and such practices must cease. Temples are not social rooms.
‘In the petition, filed through advocate V Sajith Kumar, the petitioner has alleged that use of halal certified food materials “is not a Satwik/pure material” to be offered to Lord Ayyappa and therefore, the actions of the temple administration were “highly illegal and violative of the religious rights guaranteed under the Constitution”.The Board told the high court that the jaggery received from the contracting company is first tested at Pamba by the Food Safety department and after their clearance it is stored in the godown there.
From there, as per requirement, jaggery is transported to the main store at Sabarimala and after preparation of ‘vazhipadu’ (offerings), these too are tested before they are distributed or sold, the TDB told a bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and P G Ajithkumar……Countering the petitioner’s claims, TDB in its statement has contended that the allegations in the writ petition are “absolutely false, baseless and are made purposefully with the malicious intention to stall sale of ‘appam’ and ‘aravana’ in Sabarimala” and to “torpedo” the pilgrimage season.
The Board has claimed that stalling the sale of ‘aravana’ and ‘appam’ at Sabarimala would cause a huge financial loss to it. The Board also said that packets of the fresh supplies of jaggery contained the label ‘halal’ and on enquiring with the contracting company about this, they replied that they export jaggery to Arab countries and for that ‘halal’ certification was necessary.
The company said that ‘halal’ certification was an assurance of maintaining quality standards, as per the Board’s statement.
Giving details regarding the procurement of jaggery at the temple since 2019, the Board said a contract for supplying jaggery during 2019-20 was given to Vardhan Agro Processing Ltd from Maharashtra and the company had supplied 19.96 lakh kilograms of jaggery from Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival till Chithira Attavishesham during that period. Source. https://www-onmanorama-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.onmanorama.com/news/kerala/2021/11/18/jaggery-packs-sabarimala-halal-mask-supplier-arab-nations-tdb-high-court.html?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#aoh=16375807774596&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.onmanorama.com%2Fnews%2Fkerala%2F2021%2F11%2F18%2Fjaggery-packs-sabarimala-halal-mask-supplier-arab-nations-tdb-high-court.html
Featured image from Sanatan prabhat.org. https://sanatanprabhat.org/english/46029.html