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The Kerala State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has registered a suomoto case in connection with the Kuthiyottam ritual
The commission would examine if the ritual, reportedly involving piercing children’s sides with a hook, violated child rights in any manner
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
The Kuthiyottam ritual is usually performed every year during the Pongala festival at the AttukalBhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Pongal, which means ‘to boil over’, is a ritual in which women prepare a pudding made from rice, jaggery, coconut and plantains cooked together, and offer it to the goddess
The ritual can only be performed by women
The AttukalPongala festival is the largest congregation of women for a festival in the world
Kuthiyottam ritual involves
Nearly 1,000 young boys undertake a seven-day penance before Pongala day
These boys are said to represent the wounded soldiers of the goddess
The boys have to observe strict discipline and stay inside the temple for seven days
The rigors include sleeping on the floor, strict diet restrictions, and bathing three times a day
They also have to prostrate 1,008 times before the deity
The ritual reportedly involves piercing the child’s side with a small hook and knotting a thread through it to symbolize their bond with the Goddess
SOURCE – THE HINDU.