Devaswom Minister rejects criticism on disrespecting holy water of Sabarimala temple

Kerala Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan, who drew flak on social media platforms for allegedly disrespecting the holy water of Sabarimala Temple, on Thursday rejected criticism and said those who steal God's money should be afraid of him and he has no such fear as he does not steal.

He said there are things which he usually does not consume in life and he won't have it even if anyone asks him to do so in the name of faith.

The minister was speaking to reporters here when his reaction was sought on the social media criticism against him by a section of people, alleging that he did not fold his hands while standing in front of the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala Temple when it was opened for the annual pilgrimage earlier this week.

Critics also charged that the minister disrespected the 'theertham', the holy water given by the priest to consume, by using it as sanitizer.

The video of Radhakrishnan not using the holy water and smearing it on both hands went viral on social media recently.

As per the temple custom, devotees used to drink the holy water and sprinkle the rest over their heads in reverence.

"I do not fold hands to pay respect to my mother every day. Does it mean that I have no respect towards my mother? I have my own style since my young age. I do not drink this water (theertham). I won't have it even if anyone asks me to do so in the name of faith," Radhakrishnan said.

He said though he has his own belief, he won't say that others' faith is bad.

The minister also said he would go to any extent to protect others' faith and there was proof for that.

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