The haste and not following due law process in the demolition of a Hindu temple in a patta land near Kancheepuram is yet another shock to the devotees of the state.
Organiser magazine has been carrying the destruction of Hindu Temples in the state and the forces behind it. The Dravidian DMK government is targeting Hindu temples, claiming they are built on government lands but leaves the Churches and mosques that block waterways are untouched. In the six months of the rule, the government pulled down temples in Coimbatore and other places.
Unconfirmed estimates say at least 153 temples were razed in the past six months. Besides, Abrahamic elements have vandalised the Siruvacchur Kaali temple four times. All the idols were destroyed. In the same way, the Kambathu Rayan temple near Erode was attacked. After protests from VHP, Hindu Munnuani, police arrested many. The police say the same excuse every time but protect the real attackers.
A Siva temple, shaped like a huge Sivalinam, included all the Parivara Devaas of Siva, was built in a "patta land' in Sriperrumbudhur near Kancheepuram and being administered by Tapavanam Trust.
According to its founder and head of the trust S. Krishnamurthy, he purchased 15 cents of land in his wife's name in 2004 and built a temple. Earlier, a Siva swayambhu idol was under a tree that locals worshipped. "We built a pucca temple as per agama in 2012, and it was expanded to house Annadhan centre, health centre, sannadhi for 63 nayanmars ( Saiva saints), navagraha sannadhi, Bhiravar sannadhi, Amma sannadhi from the devotees' donations." A Rajagopuram (main tier) was also built in the subsequent years. He said, "The temple attracted devotees in and around the areas. Here, devotees, irrespective of the caste, can perform poojas to the deities. Sincere devotees administered the temple following the Siva agama sastras. The main deity is Siva a Swayambhu (not man-made). We are helping small temples that have no income to light lamps and do a single day pooja."
He said that the trust has been giving free food to the needy since the corona pandemic and during the lockdown days to date. "The Christian missionaries, who are active in the district, particularly near the villages surrounding the temple, are envious. The daily foot falls to the temple and freedom to do poojas on their own is made them enraged. The result is forcing the authorities to demolish the temple overnight without giving any prior notice and due process of law," said Krishnamurthy. It is normal prior notice should be given in such cases. Even courts give sufficient time when it gives directions.
Vedic Research Center founder Bala Gauthaman said the trust was giving free food and funds to small temples. So it successfully prevented religious conversion largely. How will a rationalist DMK government digest this? Both Christians and Muslims openly said DMK came to power because of their votes.
DMK government has an obligation to keep them in a good mood. It is the reason for its Hindu phobic activities. We have already seen key government officials are minorities. They are running a de facto government with Stalin at the head. The government is not ready to give prior notice. It is highly atrocious. Their intention was clear. To demolish the temple and to reclaim the provoked land. It is not blocking the waterways, unlike an illegal church in Chennai, which was on the water body and identified by IAS officer Amudha. It was a vibrant Hindu temple built on a patta land. In Kadayanallur, an illegal mosque was inaugurated on the same day. But temple on patta land was targeted. It is the double face of the DMK government. After Bengal, now Hindus are being attacked culturally, spiritually. We are back to witness the Mohammedan and Christian ruler days. It will push them to a 'do or die situation for Hindus."
In the last week of October, many revenue officials with three JCB Poclain bulldozers, a heavy posse of police and others came to the temple premises. They did not give any prior notice of the demolition. Giving no time to the temple management, they started their job sincerely. On hearing this, Hindu devotees who thronged the place resisted the move and begged them to leave the structure untouched till alternative arrangements were made or allowed them to shift the idols. Before a delegation that went to meet the district collector returned, revenue authorities pulled down the temple. The police ensured that the operation went off smoothly.
Krishnamurthy said, "We were not given time. No prior notice was served. We told the authorities it is in a patta land. The idols were desecrated and trampled upon by the anti-Hindu government officials."
The government officials justified their action by saying that the temple was an encroachment on a water body. It is not new. The same reason was given, just other temples destroyed by them every time.
"Hindu temples have existed on the banks of rivers, lakes and other water bodies for centuries. Rather, it's almost mandatory for a Siva temple to be situated near water," says itihas chakra.
Krishnamoorthy showed documents to prove his claims that it was not a water body. "The officials did not show any interest in hearing our words. They were keen to do their assigned job in a hurry. When I insisted, wait for a survey to find out the real position." He said we had not witnessed such swift action, even in Mugal days. "They would only take away the valuables." It is curious that the government was silent all these years and did not send any notice of encroachment. What was the urgency with heaven force to demolish the temple overnight? The authorities did not give the temple's trust a chance to prove its claims, which is a must as per law. Natural justice was denied to them.
Now the temple trustees and public have taken a vow to rebuild the temple on the same site after getting legal sanction. The gathering also shouted slogans like "We won't bow down to pressure from such conversion forces, we won't vote for the party (DMK and its allies) that pulled down the temple in future elections'. They said the temple was destroyed due to pressure from the conversion mafia connected with the government machinery. They also held road roko stir. They are trying to move the court besides making a complaint against district revenue officer Pannerselvam.
In Tamil Nadu, government buildings, Valluvar Kottam, Madurai branch of Madras High Court, leading autonomous private universities, were built on water bodies. Lakes and other water bodies in Chennai gave way to concrete buildings that are the root cause of water inundation during rainy days. Despite the court warning of several illegal structures, the authorities did nothing. In Chennai, a church was built on a waterway blocking the free flow. An illegal mosque was inaugurated in the Tirunelveli district. Recently Madras High Court ordered the demolition of a church illegally constructed on a "meikal poromoboke (grazing land) land in Sriperumbudhur. It came down heavily on the revenue officials. The Tahsildar filed an affidavit saying it was not public land and the public raised no objection to the construction. In another case, the government filed an affidavit in a court saying it would not demolish the church, which has been in existence for over 100 years. It exposed the dual stand of the government. It is nothing but an appeasement policy. We are at a loss to understand when the government allows illegal commercial and housing structures with fines. Why not? The same rule should not be applied to Hindu temples if it is public land.
Last year, a Sadhu and soothsayer from Salem were brutally killed, who was a hindrance to conversion groups in that area. The dead sadhu had many devotees. Last month, thanks to the battle of BJP and other Hindu outfits, the demolition of Veera Anjaneyar (Hanuman) and the Vinayagar temple was stopped in Chidambaram town.
The government machinery is biased in its action. We can cite a long list of encroachments by other religions. The moot question is why Hindu places of worship are being targeted. The government takes temple lands for building toilets, collectorates, government offices and commercial complexes; why not reciprocate the same? They are not a hindrance to the public, traffic, and water bodies.