Devotees incensed that authorities allegedly disrupted Thaipusam kavadi procession for no good reason

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A post alleging that the authorities needlessly disrupted a Kavadi procession during Thaipusam last month has gone viral online. The post, by Facebook user Pradeep Thana, was uploaded on social media this morning and includes three videos that have garnered almost 250,000 views together.

Pradeep revealed that the Kavadi procession included the girl who received considerable praise during Thaipusam last year when a video of her singing during her father’s kavadi procession went viral.

Pradeep wrote that the girl, Vaishnavi, was apparently singing for her father’s procession, like she does every year, when the procession was halted by the authorities:

“Like every other year, Vaishnavi (the girl in the video) was singing hymns and supporting her father along Serangoon Road and Selegie Road when, a HEB member, and a police officer stopped our kavadi and accused us of singing too loudly. Not only did they disrupt our procession, they surrounded our kavadi and started taking a video of each and every family member and supporter of our kavadi. This two officers followed us for a good 30 minutes while we were singing and trying our very best to ignore the fact that we were being filmed for no apparent reason. This caused Vaishnavi and every one with the kavadi much distress and completely ruined everyone’s mood.”

Pradeep said that the members in the procession were appalled by the disruption. Some devotees could even be heard asking the authorities whether they have the wrong Kavadi procession since they were careful to not make too much noise:

Posted by Pradeep Thana on Sunday, 4 February 2018

Posted by Pradeep Thana on Sunday, 4 February 2018

Posted by Pradeep Thana on Sunday, 4 February 2018

Pradeep’s post has been shared over 1,500 shares, almost 500 shares and over 150 comments so far, with many netizens expressing their disappointment with the disturbance.

Netizens particularly called the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) for their role in the issue, including notable local filmmaker, Jk Saravana:

Jk Saravana: I faced this same situation too on Thaipusam Day. Intimidating police officers with cameras were bearable. Rude HEB volunteers were unbearable. Time we engage HEB in a dialogue session. These ridiculous rules need to go
Janani Devi: Hindu Endowments Board this is something you may need to take note of, and take into consideration that some are merely singing to praise god. Control your crowd, but maybe inform the volunteers to not abuse their power given? Also, do take a look at the regulations set for the musical instruments and maybe alter Some that are really unreasonable. As a fellow Hindu, Indian and a devotee, i am sure you can sympathize with the rest of the society when they voice out that playing instruments and serenading god is culture and also motivation for the kavadi and kudam participants.
It’s been one too many times that such incidents have happened. I would think that HEB that was set up to care for the Hindus and their rights, would hear the voices of the common people AND ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING FOR THEM.
looking forward to many more Thaipusam where we can sing in praise of the lord to our heart’s content and not worry or complain. 
Kumaran Sp: Extremely disappointed with HEB volunteers stationed between Little India Arcade and Wilkie Edge. Kavadi on route was stopped by the Volunteer in-charge Mr Carol Loga at Little India Arcade. He engaged me physically, gave me a wrong name when asked. In any circumstances Kavadi should not be stopped during procession. Volunteers or Police should give ultimate respect to the Kavadi and milk pots. The bearing of Kavadi and milk pots are representation of the Lord itself. Punniyathanam being done prior to the procession by HEB and volunteers abusing their powers in the procession route. Where is the Bhakthi Margam. Is singing the hyms of the Lord during the Kavadi procession is a taboo? HEB volunteers called in the Police saying that we will playing a drum. Where was the drum? Police on duty from G Division stopped the kavadi again between Selgie and Rendezvous Hotel a few times. One lady officer said that we are not allowed to sing during procession. The HEB volunteers between Little India Arcade and Wilkie edge should be trained. Engaging the public (including the kavadi bearrer and devotees ) physically should be avoided. Treating kavadi bearer and the devotees following the kavadi as criminals should be stopped. Devotees participating in Thaipusam should be respected. Thaipusam is a thanksgiving procession. God has given us 365 days, we are giving only this day for him. Pls respect the devotees, volunteers pls stopped your arrogance unto us. People like Carol Loga should not be in the front line of volunteerism. Pls read the life story of Appar and understand what volunteerism is about.
Jackie Luigino Vico: Hindu Endowments Board with that name u guys are supposed to support fello indians.. those people were singing and supporting . The only thing that motivates the person carrying a heavy kavadi and the painful piercing to complete their vows is the music and god song .. thaipusam has never moved quietly .. even when god is brought around in ratham from temple there is music even after 7pm .. at that point of time no residence complaint ?
Darshy Jeraldine: Sadly…… HEB when are u gonna stand up for your own ppl?! It’s a once a year festival for god sake! Year after year some shit to stop stuffs….. Then bloody put a ban for the whole festival…. why conduct with so much restrictions at a high price like as if you’re putting in so much of effort for the well being of kavadi bearers?? Just to fill your pockets?!?!
Krishna Veni: Last year when my hubby carried kavadi we went for a meeting wif d heb n police. They so called said there will be music played every 500 m. Which was not. But this year i can only see i place little india where life music was playing. N i can see that this kavadi was at dawn n i suppose not life music so it is right that they shoyld allowed songs in praise of the lord be sung. Its ver clear that soo there will not be any kavadies in SG. All going accross to our neighbour country.