India has always enjoyed the status of being culturally rich, roots of which reside in equally rich mythology. So what if we have crores of Gods and temples devoted to them, we are never alone when faced with adverse situations. There is always someone whose doors we can knock on.
In Kerala, there is a temple devoted to a fair executor of law who ensures that truth prevails. Popularly known as “Judge Uncle” or “Judge Ammavan’ in Malayalam, the deity of this temple is approached by people seeking divine intervention in legal matters. The temple is situated at the Cheruvally Dev temple in Kottayam.
The famous Devi temple in Kottayam is a shrine of Govinda Pillai – an intellectual revered for being fair in his judgment. His existence can be traced back to the 18th century during the rule of King Dharma Raja Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma. Govinda Pillai was a native of the Travancore province.
According to the mythology, once upon a time, Pillai wrongly gave a death sentence to his nephew in a case. When he found out the error in his judgment, he could not get over the grief and guilt. Pillai asked the king to punish him for the wrong he did. However, Dharam Raja, in turn, asked Pillai to pass a judgment on himself.
Exercising the fair tactics he always did, Govind Pillai ordered a slow painful death for himself. He asked to chop off his feet and hang his body from a tree for three days as a reminder to people that no one is above the law. The tales of his unbiased antics have traveled through generations.
Since Pillai died an unnatural death, it was believed that his soul wanders for eternal peace. Therefore, his soul is kept in a stone in the temple. People from all over the nation, irrespective of religion or class, come to seek his help in matters of the law. In 2013, cricketer Sreesanth also visited the shrine when he found himself surrounded by the IPL scam controversy.
Even newly appointed Judges come here before starting their services. However, “Judge Uncle” doesn’t guarantee help for the guilty.