Goa’s Minister for Art and Culture has ordered an inquiry into a reported ‘purification ceremony’ held at the Kala Academy, an institute of art and culture where the mortal remains of ex-Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were kept for final public homage before his cremation.
The rituals, reportedly held at the behest of some staff of the institute, consisting four priests chanting mantras. It came to light after visuals and images began circulating on social media, sparking outrage over the ‘insult to the memory of Parrikar.’
“This is a shame and an insult to the CM,” a government official who declined to be named, stated.
Govind Gaude, the minister for art and culture, confirmed he had ordered an inquiry.
“I have taken a strong note of some activities carried out in the Kala Academy premises as rituals today… We cannot promote or patronize unscientific activities inside government buildings,” Govind Gaude stated when asked about the ceremony.
However, he said he wasn’t aware of the nature of the ceremony took place.
The staff of the government-run institute holds religious rituals, usually once a year with prior government permission. In this case, Gaude stated, the ritual was held without his knowledge.
“It is not a suddhikaran (cleansing) ritual as is being said, but I don’t know what ritual has been held. On Monday once the inquiry report is in I will have a better idea,” Gaude stated.
The mortal remains for Goa Chief Minister were kept at the Kala Academy between 10 am and 4:00 pm for public homage and various national and state leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage on Monday prior to the cremation.