The brazen actions of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments officials with the aid of DMK politicians have been exposed through various incidents. In yet another incident, it came to light that in Thiruchendhur Murugan temple was illegally obtained with forged documents to build a church.
Recently HR and CE department came out with a book entitled ‘Temple Properties Recovered by the Endowment Board, 2021-2022’. It is a white lie and bereft of documentary evidence. It is a mere statistic. The Dravidian model government claimed this as its one-year rule milestone. HR and CE joint commissioners’ offices in Tirunelveli, Nagapattinam, and Mayiladuthural are on encroached temple lands, and the list is long.
Talking to Organiser B Ramkumar, Thoothukudi district secretary Hindu Maha Sabha, said a church was built on land illegally obtained with forged documents which belonged to the Thiruchendur Subramania Swamy temple, one of the six abodes of Murugan at kadayanodai village Kulathu kudiyuruppu in Alwarthirunagari union. Thiruchendur Subramaniya Swamy charity superintendent, Ramanathapuram Samasthnam, M Madasamy, told your correspondent in detail how the cultivable land belonging to the temple changed the hands of church missionaries.
“In 1969 under the agriculture land ceiling act, the land was given for cultivation to Nataraja Konar, Narayana Iyer and Ave Kutti Ammal. They are tenants of the land. Fake and forged documents were created as one of the tenants sold the land to them and through a donation deed in the name of the district collector for four cents of land. They created an in the name of document Solomon simon reverend father spg missionary. They have illegally encroached the land belonged to temple under the HR and CE administration. While patta number one is the temple and two is the Kulathu Kudiyuruppu pari yohanan snagan church which is self- explanatory, the Church illegally obtained the land. We have documents to prove our case. Actually according to documents the three were the tenants of the land but in reality it is no so. The 4 acres 68 cent land worth several crores. The CSI church management also building an arch illegally on the government land and blocking the common passage to fields and to enter village. They also blocked the canal that carries water”.
It is a million-dollar question how they obtained pattas in their names that land belonged to a temple; the land was shown as sold to them. In Tamil Nadu, it is an arduous task for a common to get patta from the revenue dept, but it is significantly easier for politicians and land grabbers. It could be with the connivance of government officials in revenue, HR and CE and District administration. They wanted action against the village administrative officer, concerned surveyor, regular BDO and others involved in the illegal transaction,” says Ramkumar. Reply obtained through RTI by Ramkumar says the lands are temple lands. The above incident shows how the HR and CE officials function callously and how the church missionary stoops low to grab lands by illegal means.
We have seen an increase in such encroachments by other religions. We can see some earlier ones. The Catholic Church has encroached on forest land on top of a hill in Thiruvannamalai. Elayankanni hamlet is located 150 feet above the hill, spread across 160 acres under the TN forest department. Veluchamy, the Executive Officer of Vallioor Murugan temple, was transferred in 2009 after allegations of him giving up temple land to Christians were found to be true. The particular land in question was donated by a devotee, Meenakshi Ammal, in 1919. One Jebamani, a Christian, later bought it from her descendants. However, once donated through proper protocol to temples, properties cannot be sold to anyone. When the matter went to court, the judge criticized EO Veluchamy observing, “Veluchamy had given No Objection Certificate to the concerned persons(the Christians) allowing them to become the trustees, and has not acted in accordance with the responsibility his position demands“. The property was recovered after the court ruling.
In another alleged case of encroachment by Christian missionaries, a Church has reportedly been built by encroaching a temple land in Tirunelveli. In a plot of land belonging to the Manimoortheeswaram Uchishta Ganapathy Templ, Christian built a cemetery in front of the temple and illegally occupied by Sacred Heart Church, claiming ownership and title over the land. Devotees who demanded action against the Church were illegally detained and slapped with the National Security Act (NSA). In Chennai, Vadapalani Murugan temple land was given to build a passage for an illegal mosque. In Virugambakkam, there were attempts to illegally grab Sundra Varadaraja Perumal Koil land to build a mosque. Due to Hindu Munnani protests the same was aborted.
In Chennai, Santhome Church was built after demolishing the Kabaleeswarar temple during the British raj. The present Madras HC complex was once a temple. It is also alleged that Nagappatinam Velankani church was an Amman temple.
“Crisis an opportunity for evangelization”, says Pope Francis. He meets with participants in the international conference on the Global Education Pact, a project he launched in 2019 and tells them the crisis we are experiencing can become an auspicious moment for re-evangelization. Hindus should remember this, and It is a paramount duty of every Hindu to protect our remaining temple and its properties from these land grabbers.