There can be no better an example for communal harmony in Kerala when a good chunk of the lotus flowers for the thulabharam offering by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Sri Krishna temple in Guruvayur on Saturday morning is being supplied by Muslim farmers in the State.
More than 110 kg of flowers has been brought to the temple for weighing Modi against these lotuses. It has been a more than century-old custom to source these flowers from a group of farmers, mainly Muslims, from Tirunavaaya in Malappuram district in the State. The flowers for puja and other rituals at the temple come from these farmers and is seen as an classic case of communal harmony.
According to devaswom sources, the devastating flood of August 2018 did wreck havoc and there has been a sharp drop in the bloom. However, lotus flowers have been bought from Malappuram, though in small quantities owing to poor bloom
To supplement the shortfall, the devaswom had to fetch flowers from farmers in Nagercoil in neighbouring Tamil Nadu this time.
Modi arrived in Kochi on Friday night and will be at the temple by 10 am. He is to be welcomed with a poornakumbham and will offer kaanikka, manjappattu (yellow cloth) and kadali (a special variety used for pujas) bananas at the sopanappadi. He will then pray in front of the deities of Krishna, Ganapati, Ayyappan and Bhagavathi and receive prasadam from the chief priest. After this will be the thulabharam.
Modi performed thulabharam with lotus flowers in 2008 when he was Gujarat Chief Minister after which he made another offering with kadali bananas.