Madkaikars reject Mahajan’s proposal of ‘Prasad’ to replace Navdurga idol

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 17 February 2016 22:46 IST

Shree Devi Navdurga Pratishthan, heading the protesting villages, has outrightly rejected the proposal of temple committee to obtain a joint ‘Koul Prasad’ on the issue of replacing the Navdurga idol.

“There is no question of having prasad on this issue. We don’t want idol to be replaced and we will not allow it. The issue is closed”, Shailendra Panajikar, president of the Pratishthan, told, when contacted.

The Pratishthan has now given a call to all the villagers to assemble in large numbers on 21 February, one day prior to the scheduled date of removing the existing idol from the Garbhagraha of Shree Navdurga temple at Madkai.

When asked about their stand if the temple committee goes ahead with their plan to replace the idol, Panajikar refused to divulge anything.

“It all depends on what Goddess Navdurga tells us to do. We are sure she would tell us the right path to follow. Ultimately she is Mahishasur Mardini”, he said.

Gaurav Ghaisas, pujari of the temple who supports the protesting villagers, in fact demanded that Goa government intervenes into the matter to resolve the issue rather than having Koul Prasad.

Supporting his demand, Panajikar said they have already made representations to everybody, from local MLA and PWD minister Sudin Dhawalikar to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking their intervention.

Mahajan of Shree Navdurga Devasthan had a press conference today morning, proposing to have another joint Koul Prasad to decide whether to replace the deity, which is in deteriorated condition, provided a proposal comes from one of the seven waddo committee of the temple.

“We have enough documents to prove that this idol has been there right from the time the temple was built and no idol was replaced any time. Otherwise let them show the documents to prove otherwise”, argued Panajikar.

The temple committee has already admitted of having no documents maintained of three idols replaced earlier, but produced circumstantial evidence at the press conference, including photographs.

While temple Mahajan have been claiming to have replaced the existing idol around 120 years ago, 99-year old Jivu Bhiku Naik refuted this claim.

“Neither I remember the idol being changed nor my father ever told me that the idol was changed”, he told

The Pratishthan members are also not prepared to buy the argument that replacing deteriorated idols has been a practice in Navdurga temple or elsewhere in the state.

In fact they claim that original idols at Tirupathi, Goddess Mahalaxmi of Kolhapur and Vithoba-Rakhumai idols of Pandharpur have been preserved by having scientific treatment on it.

“If they can do it, why the learned people in the temple committee do it”, asked Panajikar.

Ghaisas, the pujari of the temple, also denied the allegation that his family is provoking some people in the village to protest against the temple committee due to the ongoing litigation he is fighting in the court against the temple committee.

While the temple committee had terminated their service, he says it was restored by the court order which the temple committee has presently challenged in the high court.

“We are not illiterate people any more to listen to anybody and getting provoked to come on the roads. We worship our deity and we will not allow our idol to be changed”, asserted Panajikar. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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