Panaji: Amid claims on social media that “shuddhikaran” (purification) was conducted at the site where late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s body was kept in the government-run Kala Academy for public to pay last respects, Goa’s Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude has ordered a probe into the matter.
Gurudas Pilernekar, member secretary of the state’s premier Arts and Culture centre, told IANS that while a probe had been ordered by the institution, prima facie the four Hindu priests had been called by an academy staffer for chanting of the ‘Om’ mantra.
He, however, did not explain why the Om mantra chanting exercise had been conducted.
“The minister has already ordered a probe into the incident, but prima facie it appears that what rites the four pandits had performed was not a purification ceremony, but chanting of the Om mantra,” Pilernekar said, after photos of the four priests chanting and walking about in the area, where Parrikar’s remains had been kept for a day on March 18, before his cremation.
Parrikar died on March 17, after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.
In a Facebook post, Gaude, said that the Kala Acedemy, which functions under the aegis of his ministry, does not promote unscientific activities.
“I have taken a strong note of some activities carried out in the Kala Academy premises as rituals today. I have ordered an inquiry into it. We cannot promote or patronise unscientific activities inside government buildings,” Gaude said.
Speaking to reporters, the minister also said that he does not know “whether it is shuddhikaran or shantikaran (pacification) ceremony”.