The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has registered a case against the ‘Kuthiyottam’ ritual performed during Attukal Pongala festival. The case has been registered on the basis of media reports.
What is Kuthiyottam?
Kuthiyottam is performed as part of the Pongala festival by young boys.
Young boys are made to undergo penance. At the end of the ritual, an iron hook is pierced into the bodies of young boys, DGP (Prisons), R Sreelekha, said in a blog post on Tuesday (Feb 27)
They are made to wear just a loin cloth, submerged in cold water thrice daily, given to eat measly morsels sitting on the floor and made to sleep on the bare floor.
Task of the commission
The task of the commission will be to examine if any child rights violation took place during the ritual.
Kerala top cop and the state’s first woman DGP, R Sreelekha, hit out at the famous Attukal Temple for cruelty against children in the name of the temple goddess.
In a strongly worded blog, Sreelekha, who calls herself a devotee, has said she will not be offering her ‘pongala’ (rice, jaggery, banana and coconut cooked together), this year until children between the ages of 5-12 are saved from getting physically hurt in the name of goddess Attukal Amma.
The top cop also mentions that she was witness to one such incident, where her personal security officer’s son was part of the ritual.