PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA, January 4, 2014 (Free Malaysia Today): Devotees fulfilling their penance during Thaipusam in Batu Caves will no longer be allowed to carry "fancy" kavadis bearing logos of their associations, favorite soccer clubs, movie stars or uncommon fruits and items. The Malaysian Hindu Sangam said devotees who failed to adhere to the new regulations will have to face the prospect of not being able to fulfill their religious obligations.
"The committee has decided on several new regulations to ensure a smooth Thaipusam. We will strictly adhere to the new rules. "Devotees who defy the kavadi regulations will not be allowed into the temple to fulfill their penance," said Hindu Sangam president RS Mohan Shan.
He said a new task force comprising Hindu Sangam, security officials and several other Indian NGOs had been set-up to ensure the new guidelines are properly implemented during the January 17 Thaipusam festival.
Speaking at a press conference, here, he said Kavadis should be designed in worship of Thaipusam's lead Deity which is Lord Muruga. "This year we will not allow kavadi bearers to wear black skirts and smoke cheroot in the name of God. "Devotees are also not allowed to have long fancy nails and hooks bearing uncommon fruits such as durians on their backs. This is not a real Thaipusam practice.