Kapali Panguni Utsavam: the menace of aim-and-shoot ‘devotees’

While the Adikaara Nandi, Naga and Rishabha Vahanam processions have attracted huge crowds at the Panguni Utsavam at Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple during the first five days, the army of photo and video  shooters have interfered with the devotion of people keen to see the swami after the deeparadhanai.

Holding a phone high over the head and clicking photos and video shots of Sri Kapaleeswarar screens the views of devotees. Imagine dozens of people doing this.

Some people who make it to the daily events here have expressed their disappointment too.

In decades gone by, the typical comment from a mother was to get the child to pray with folded hands in front of the Lord. But now,  even young children are being encouraged to take video shots.

 At the start of the Naga Vahana procession in front of the raja gopuram on Friday evening, there were fervent shouts from senior citizens to get people to lower their phones below the head but it fell on deaf ears and it became difficult for those at the rear of the crowd to  have a clear darshan, especially of the voyali by the Sripatham.

Better access now to sleeker phones with good cameras has led to intense competition among the devotees who are now vying with each other to showcase their photography skills rather than enjoying the beautiful alankaram of Swami and the presentation of the Voyali.

The army of smartphone shooters are also seen on the mada streets and they do not show restraint.

Recently,  the Madurai High Court gave an order banning mobile phones inside temples. People say that  this order will have to be strictly implemented at Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple as well rules similar to the restrictions followed at Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai.

  • Story by S. Prabhu
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2 Comments on “Kapali Panguni Utsavam: the menace of aim-and-shoot ‘devotees’”

  1. They should install jammers inside the temple especially in the sanctum premises. People taking photos of the diety inside the temple should be fined and camera seized. This totally needless addictive disgusting behavior of some people should be curtailed strictly at solemn ocassions

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