- Kantararu Maheshwararu
Kantararu Maheshwararu (
July 12, 1928- ) was born in Chenganoor, Keralain the famous Nambudiri Brahminfamily of Tazhamon Madham. He is the "Tantri" (Head Priest) of Sabarimala, which is a hereditary title for members of the Tazhamon Madham. Tazhamon family is said to be the descendants of the disciples of Parashurama.
He is married to Devaki Devi and has 3 children. His son Kantararu Mohanaru, and his brother's son Kantararu Rajeevaru are also priests of Sabarimala. Sabarimala is one of the biggest pilgrim centers in the world with 5 crore devotees visiting every year.
The pilgrimage center was recently criticized in the world media for not allowing fertile women to enter. Both the
Jaimala Controversywere months long headlines in Indian media.
BBC, he denied Jaimala entering the temple and also defended the millennium old custom of not allowing women between the age of 10-50 to the holy shrine. He also defended his son Kantararu Mohanaru in the controversy.
According to Indian law and the Supreme Court of India, Tantri (supreme priest) is the person who has the final authority to decide on temple related issues. The Supreme Court in a case dates back to mid 90's also ruled in favor of Kantararu Maheshwararu, judging his word is the final one. Recently When the Indian Supreme Court asked Kantararu Maheshwararu about his opinion on 'women entry', he replied in the negative and affirmed the authority of tradition. When he was interviewed by different Asian media about the 'discriminating women', he replied "there are many temples where only women are allowed, the media is quoting and seeing things out of context. The tradition of sabarimala should not been seen in the backdrop of gender bias".
Although the Tantri has been held responsible by the media for the rules at Sabarimala, the Tantri himself is not in a position to take drastic action in reforming the rules at Sabarimala which would require the joint assistance of Devaswom Board and even Devaprashnam (Astrological determination).
* [http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/23/stories/2006082312720100.htm - Court concerned over not arresting Bechu Rahman]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5132602.stm - Kantararu Maheshwararu on BBC]
* [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060725/asp/nation/story_6521601.asp - Kantararu Maheshwararu to Calcutta media]
* [http://www.ibnlive.com/news/sabarimala-to-sue-southern-diva/14204-3.html - Kantararu Maheshwararu to CNN-IBN]
* [http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/14/stories/2006081402840700.htm - Kantararu Maheshwararu takes on Travancore Devasom Board]
* [http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/14204/sabarimala-to-sue-southern-diva.html - CNN-IBN video questioning claims of Jaimala]
* [http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=world_news&month=august2006&file=world_news2006081921721.xml - Kantararu Maheshwararu on International media defending Sabarimala]
* [http://www.southasianmedia.net/cnn.cfm?id=384647&category=Religion&Country=INDIA - Sabarimala Supreme Priest tells Indian Supreme Court that women will not be allowed in Sabarimala - Southasianmedia]
* [http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=world_news&month=july2006&file=world_news2006073135718.xml - Indian Supreme Court intervenes in Sabarimala Issue - International media]
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