Two days after the famous Dussehra festival of Kullu concluded without the traditional sacrifice of animals for the first time, erstwhile ruler of Kullu Maheshwar Singh, who is chief caretaker of Lord Raghunath, the principal deity of the region, vowed to give up his life to protect the age-old deity culture.
“I am a law-abiding citizen. At the same time I can go to any extent to protect the deity culture and can even give up my life,“ Maheshwar Singh while talking to reporters here.
When his reaction was sought on the Kullu Dussehra breaking away from the 353-year tradition of animal sacrifice, he said,
“We had kept our word on honouring the high court's order on animal sacrifice. Let me make it clear that the tradition was not broken. Rituals were performed in accordance with dictates of the deities”.
He added that he along with the Devi Devta Kardar Sangh Kullu will continue to fight the legal battle.
“The Supreme Court has only sought the state government's viewpoint. I can say that that our plea has not gone unheard so far”, Maheswar Singh said.
“It's due to the divine powers of the deities that everything passed off peacefully during Kullu Dussehra festival. I have even told the deities that I was ready to make any sacrifice to protect our culture. Deities had made it amply clear that we should not abandon the age-old tradition by adopting the new ones”, he added.
He said, “If the apex court will give its verdict in favour of deity culture, I wants to bring about some changes in the practice of animal sacrifice. I think it should not be performed publicly and only few people related to the deity should be allowed to perform the ritual during religious ceremony”.
Maheshwar Singh thanked the district administration for handling the situation effectively during the festival even as there were a lot of apprehensions among people as well as the district authorities, which were worried amid suspense over the ritual till the final day of event at Lanka Baker, where a buffalo was sacrificed every year to perform the ritual.
He lauded the efforts of chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who ensured specific funds to preserve the deity culture and said that the installation of CCTV cameras in temples would help to curb robbery cases in temples.