2 May 2017

News Update May 2017

If you are interested to learn more about the Vasantha Urchavam Festival, please check the archives of Arunachala Grace for the many postings I made covering the 2016 Vasantha Urchavam Festival. 

This year I propose giving a full report on the meaning and significance of this Festival on the Arunachala Samudra website—the upload will also include a full pictorial report of the various functions celebrated during this 2017 Festival. 

Have just made a posting on my blog Arunachala Mystic, with details of the marriage ceremony between Lord Siva and the Goddess Meenakshi that will be celebrated on May 8, 9, and 10 during this Chithirai Festival. The function will take place at the famed Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar Ashram located about 25 kms from Tiruvannamalai at Sethavari Village, Nallanpillaipetral. All are welcome to what will be a joyous and celebratory occasion. 

To all the many animal lovers interested in the plight of Rukku, the Arunachaleswarar Temple elephant, a High Court ruling on captive elephants has been made as follows:- 

Prayers that the Temple explicitly follows the ruling of the Madras High Court

“The Madras High Court has made it clear that forcing a temple elephant to bless people for a fee is nothing but begging, and observed that such exploitation of captive animals cannot be permitted. 

Justice D. Krishnakumar also directed forest officials to ensure the best possible
conditions for the captive animals and strict compliance with rules. 

The issue pertains to a plea moved by N. Sekar, seeking a direction to the Forest department to issue transit licence for taking his elephant to Sree Varadharaja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram. 

The petitioner said the licence was suspended after a Tamil daily carried a report that the elephant was being used for begging. 

When the plea came up for hearing, the judge said, “The court had been informed that elephants were used to bless devotees and receive money in return, which was nothing but begging, which violates the Tamil Nadu Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, 2011, which state that an elephant should not be taken to the streets and other places for begging or any other purpose.” 

The judge then ordered the district forest officers to ensure that the rules were strictly implemented, and asked the authorities concerned to circulate all the rules in Tamil to all owners of captive elephants in the State.” 


Itinerant Yogi said...

I sincerely hope that wherever she is, she is being looked after and cared for well. Lets pray to Arunachala Siva for her wellbeing and happiness. Thanks Meenakshi.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Believe Rukku is currently at the Temple. But if the Temple comply with the Madras High Court ruling, she will no longer be allowed to beg money to give blessings with her trunk. Thats why its important for devotees to support this judicial ruling by calling the Temple out if they see the Temple is not complying with regulations.

Elephants are fashionable and give status to Temples so they don't want to retire their elephants off. But hopefully this Madras High Court ruling may be the beginning of a process that ends with such Elephants being sent back to the forest.

Itinerant Yogi said...

Please give us details of who we should call if we see her being exploited for blessings again at the temple. I didn't see her when I visited Tiru last month and was wondering what happened. She needs to live in better conditions.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Rukku was on camp recently so that may have been the reason you didn't see her the last time you visited. Will post information soon as to how best we can ensure Rukki is protected by Tamil Nadu and Central Government laws governing captive elephants.