Thrissur Pooram in crisis as owners refuse to give elephants
Thrissur: At a time when the temple committees are all set to organise the grand Thrissur Pooram on May 13, elephant owners have decided not to provide elephants for any programmes after May 11.
The elephant owners took the decision in protest of the government’s stand to ban the elephant Thechikottukavu Ramachandran from taking part in temple festivals. Elephant owner’s association officials alleged that the ban was a move led by the forest department to destroy temple festivals.
As the decision of Elephant owners could derail temple festivals across the state including the renowned Thrissur pooram, leading temple devaswoms and government is planning to hold discussions with the association.
Speaking to Manthrubhumi News, agriculture minister Sunil Kumar said that the decision of elephant owners was unfortunate.
Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, the elephant owners declared that no elephant would take part in any programmes from May 11.
Government should intervene to conduct temple festivals safely and withdraw restrictions, demanded the association. The elephant owners also alleged that the forest department and forest minister K Raju was supporting the move to destroy temple festivals.
“We will support all actions except banning elephants from temple festivals in the name of safety,” they declared. The forest minister’s orders were against the decisions taken in the ministerial level meeting. Temple festivals are the celebration of a region. In Kerala, only five or ten of the most prominent elephants are making huge income. Other elephant owners are not making any profit,” they complained.
The representatives of elephant owner’s association alleged that officials in forest department have taken revengeful action against them.
“It is really sad that they took the decision after the ‘Kodiyettam’ of Thrissur Pooram,” Sunil Kumar told Mathrubhumi News.