Ban on display of religious motifs on special services being operated by the Karala state Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to pilgrim centres has sparked strong protest from the Hindu organisations in Kerala, alleging it is targetted against the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
What has angered the Hindu outfits including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is a specific direction in the circular that words like "Swami Saranam" and "Amme Narayana" should not be displayed on buses bound for pilgrim centres including the famed Sabarimala hillshrine.
The order, circulated to all units of KSRTC across the state, has asked the unit heads to stop the practice of displaying "religious verses,emblems or flags" on the the special services being operated to pilgrim centres.
Kummanam Rajasekharan,state general secretary of VHP, alleged that order was meant against the Sabarimala, where the pilgrimage seaon is starting in November.
"It has been a long practice to display pictures of Lord Ayyappa and also stickers on special services operated to the billshrine's base camp Pampa by the KSRTC.This helps millions of pilgrims coming from ohter states to immediately spot buses bound for Sabarimala", Rajasekharan said.
When asked about the controversy, a top KSRTC official said that the Government was seized of the matter and a decision was expected to be announced factoring in the sentiments experessed various quarters.