Even as the CAA has deepened old faultlines and, communal harmony in many parts of the country is at a low ebb, there has been no abatement in the ritualistic dance of Ayyappa devotees at Vavar mosque in Erumeli, Kerala. The dance of the Sabarimala pilgrims at the mosque of a migrant saint during the annual Madalam-makaravilakku pilgrimage is in the best of syncretic traditions. Erumeli Pettathullal is symbolic of a community united against injustice. After slaying the demonness, Lord Ayyappa is believed to have said: “Unity is the key to social transformation.”
Legend has it that Vavarswami was a Muslim saint who migrated from Arabia to India to spread Islam and became a close associate and later a devotee of Lord Ayyappa. Every year, pilgrims pay homage to Vavarswami at the Vavarpalli (mosque) before they proceed to pray on the hilltop.