Let’s have joint ‘koul prasad’ to replace Navdurga idol: Madkai Mahajan

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 17 February 2016 18:27 IST

Shree Navdurga Devasthan Samiti of Madkai has proposed to obtain ‘Koul Prasad’ jointly in the presence of Gramasth (villagers) for installing a new idol of the deity, in order to resolve the ongoing tussle between the Mahajan and the protesting villagers.

Under the banner of Shree Devi Navdurga Pratishthan, large number of Madkai villagers is presently on a warpath, opposing installation of a new idol.

While taking out a morcha to the office of Ponda Mamlatdar, who is also the administrator of temple committees, the protesters claimed that the existing idol is the original one and should not be changed.

Vallabh Kamat, president of Shree Navdurga Devasthan Samiti, today refuted the allegation while claiming that this is the fourth time the temple committee is replacing the idol.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Kamat also alleged that a group of villagers has joined hands with the family of Ghaisas, the pujaris of the temple, who are fighting litigation in the court against the temple committee.

“This is an issue raked up unnecessarily by a party having vested interest while misguiding the villagers that we are replacing the ancient original idol of the Goddess”, he said.

However, respecting the feelings of the villagers, the Samiti members today said they are prepared for yet another Koul Prasad on the issue, provided a proposal comes from any Waddekar Committee and the Koul Prasad ritual is held in the presence of all the seven Waddekar committees.

“If no such proposal comes, we will go ahead with our scheduled programme of replacing the idol”, said Dr Govind Kamat, another Mahajan.

The Devasthan Committee has scheduled a programme from 22 February, when the old idol would be removed from the Garbhagraha while a new idol would be installed on 3 March.

According to Kamats, the first idol made of brass and replaced thereafter is still being preserved on the ceiling of the Garbhagraha while two other replaced idols of granite stone were immersed in the temple well, which are still visible.

While Ghaisas family is in legal dispute with the temple committee over their termination and is now opposing the replacement of the idol, Kamat said at least three deceased members of their family had been relentlessly pressurising the committee to replace the idol.

The existing idol has developed cracks in several places and the repairs carried out in 1984 with cement-based polymer mixture have not been proved useful from further deterioration of the idol, he said.

Since then, he said, three attempts to obtain Prasad till 2000 to replace the idol have been proved futile only after which the Prasad held on 22 December 2013 received positive response.

“The Prasad was obtained after announcing the day through all possible methods and was also intimated officially to all the seven waddo committees immediately. Then how come suddenly some villagers are opposing the decision, denying the whole process”, asked Kamat in disgust.

According to him, replacing the   deteriorated idol is a matter of compulsion as propounded in Dharmashastra and also mandatory.

The committee members said they have replaced at least three idols of affiliated temples within the temple premises in a similar manner while similar practice has also been followed in temples like Shree Mahalaxmi at Bandoda, Shree Mallinath at Mashel, Shree Ganapati at Khandola and Shree Betal at Keri.

“We have taken due and appropriate action by following legal, social and religious aspects”, said Kamat.

The other Mahajan present at the press conference were Subhash Kamat, Madhusudan Kamat, Suresh Kamat and Ashok Kamat. 

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