Goa Culture Minister Govind Gaude on Saturday said he has ordered an inquiry into allegations of cleansing rituals conducted at Kala Academy in Panaji where former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s body was kept on the day of his funeral.
“I have taken a strong note of some activities carried out in Kala Academy premises as rituals today,” Gaude tweeted. “I have ordered an inquiry into it. We can not promote or patronise unscientific activities inside government buildings.”
Gaude told The Indian Express that he cannot specify the nature of the ceremony. “It could be shantikaran [peace rituals] or shuddhikaran [purification rituals] but we need to first probe,” he said. “Kala Academy does not allow for such rituals. Further, no permissions or letters were sought before doing this. The academy or the ministry hasn’t issued a single penny for any such ceremony.”
Gaude said an initial inquiry found that three staff members wanted to hold a ceremony to chant “Om” mantra. The rituals, which reportedly included four priests chanting mantras, came to light after visuals began circulating on social media, the Hindustan Times reported.
Kala Academy’s member secretary, Gurudas Pilernekar, said it appeared that a staff member had called the priests to chant the “Om” mantra and that it was not a purification ceremony, The Hindu reported. He, however, did not specify why the chanting was held.