A temple in Vithura village of Thiruvananthapuram has issued a public notice appealing to devotees for donating blood to the temple as part of an annual festival celebration (for 'Abhishek'). The ritual is scheduled for 12 March. Temple's name is 'Deviyodu Srividuari Vaidyanatha Temple'.
The matter was highlighted after the temple issued a public notice asking for the blood of the devotees for the 'raj tilak'.
As part of the 14-day festival that is set to begin on March 11, Kaali, the presiding deity, will be bathed in blood, the notice announced.
Further, the notice said that the temple would accept human blood for the purpose. The notice also said that government recognised doctors will collect a negligible quantity of blood in disposable syringes.
However, the Kerala government has strictly directed the temple authorities to abstain from performing the ritual.
Taking to Facebook, Kerala's Devaswom Minister, Kadakampally Surendran, said that he had directed the police and the district collector to take action against people who are involved in the practice.
In a Facebook post, Minister Surendran said that it was a shame for Kerala that such primitive practices are being brought back.
"This practice is trying to make a comeback in a state like Kerala that has long ago shed primitive practices like human and animal sacrifice," the minister wrote.
The festival is scheduled to begin on March 11 and will go on till March 24. The blood 'abhishek' ritual is scheduled for March 12 at 6 PM.