In another bold statement, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh asked temple authorities across the country to focus on charity and education instead of spending huge amount of money on extravagances like firework displays.
The right wing body's comment came in the wake of a fireworks accident at the Puttingal temple in Kollam district of Kerala on April 10 which killed at least 114 people and left over 300 others injured.
According a report in a national daily, the RSS asked temple management committees to stop spending huge sums of money on cultural programmes, which include magic shows, mimicry, film-based dances shows, fireworks and animal processions.
“In the name of cultural programmes, there are magic and mimicry shows; these don’t suit the temple culture; besides lakhs of rupees are spent on them; this is also extravaganza. Cultural programmes should be in-keeping with the traditions of the temple, the local culture and there should be no vulgarity,” J. Nandakumar, publicity-in-charge of the RSS, was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
The RSS believes that the 'temples should be service centres for society'. However, its latest suggestion is not likely to go down well with many of the temple committees as they believe festivities like fireworks are the traditions of the temple.
The RSS remark follows a few similar comments it made in the recent past suggesting how the right wing body is doing away with its traditional hardline religious stand. It had recently termed restriction on entry of women in temples as "unfair" and said managements in the temples doing so should change their mentality. “Such sensitive issues should be resolved through discussion and dialogue and not through agitations," RSS general secretary Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi had said in the wake of protests by women activists over the ban on women at Shani Shignapur temple in Maharashtra.
In another statement recently, the Sangh had even suggested that it was time to have a re-look at the system of backward caste reservations and that it was ridiculous for the well-to-do castes to seek reservations, as in Haryana and Gujarat.