We refer to Malaysiakini report Boycotting Batu Caves for Thaipusam?
We respect temple priest Kapar K Munian’s concern that we should not be fighting against the wrong party, and fully agree with him that the anger should not be focused against God.
Different people may have positive or negative reasons for this or any other topic. However, we only see good in telling people not to ‘patronise’ Batu Caves but to celebrate Thaipusam elsewhere in Malaysia.
Of course, it would be nice to do it at Batu Caves, more to show our oneness and unity on that day (as we always do once a year). There are numerous Murugan temples across Malaysia and we have always believed that praying or fulfilling vows at any Murugan temple has the same effect regardless of the size of the Murugan deity or the prominence of the temple or locality.
Hindus give money generously to the temples during major festivals. Many of our Murugan temples need these funds to maintain our places of worship where God resides. So, our rationale is instead of giving to only one of God’s homes, namely Batu Caves (which is already well taken care of) let us also take care of God’s other houses across the country.
There are several other places in the country in Penang, Ipoh, Melaka, Seremban, Temiang and Johor where we can show this support on Thaipusam day this year.
As for ‘kavadi’-bearer P Batu Malai, who said he would still fulfill his vows but ‘will not pay a single sen to the temple for any of its projects and charity drive’, I think this act will not serve the true purpose of the ‘boycott’ campaign.
This is simply because while you can avoid paying for the various charities beckoning us on that day, one cannot avoid the compulsory payments for the ‘paal kudam’ (milk pot) and ‘kavadis’ out of which the temple management makes a decent profit, I believe.
It appears like he is trying to teach the Batu Caves temple management a lesson, but in actual fact he is not really succeeding. On the other hand, I personally believe that there is no hard and fast rule that says if you have taken a vow to do it at Batu Caves, you can only do it there and no where else.
Murugan is everywhere, as long as there is a temple for him, His power cannot be diluted. On top of that, given the current scenario, I am positive that the Wise and Almighty Murugan will understand and be there for his devotee irregardless of the place.
The writer represents the Indian Malaysian Active Generation (Image).