Tamil Nadu: Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Minister PK Sekar Babu should stop meddling with the Chidambaram temple issue and threatening mutt heads or face the consequences.
Speaking at a meeting organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Madurai, Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal of the Madurai Adheeam said, “the government does not interfere in the functioning of Churches or Mosques. But the government interferes in the functioning of our temples through the HR&CE department.” He called for disbanding the HR and CE department, saying that it has turned temples into a den for looters and plunderers.
The seer said “Temples should be ideally given to us (Aadheenams). It is okay even if they don’t give them to us. A judge with a panel of lawyers should administer the temples. The panel will also consult pontiffs and local people. This is how temples should be managed,” .
“First of all, what business does a politician have in temples? The temple wealth have been taken over by the ruling party and the opposition. The Swamigal had also urged Hindu devotees not to put money in the hundis of HR&CE temples. The seer said “People are asking ‘can the Adheenams speak politics?’. If not us, who will speak ?” he asked.
Reacting to his speech, Sekar Babu said “I am toning down the response because of the advice given by the Chief Minister. We can also pounce and hit you back. We’re refraining from doing so as it wouldn’t augur well. He (the seer) should not see us holding back as fear. We also know how to pounce.” He said “The Madurai Adheenam has been continuously speaking like a politician, which the HR&CE Department won’t allow. Madurai Adheenam is trying to portray as if all the Adheenams are against this government. He doesn’t have the right to say that we can’t interfere in temples. If he keeps indulging in such talks we also know how to respond in kind.”
Voicing his support to seer, TN BJP chief Annamalai condemned Sekar Babu for threatening the Madurai Adheenam and dared the DMK government to lay a finger on the Adheenam. “The only job for Sekar Babu is to go to every place and threaten the spiritual seers of this land. In the latest incident, he is threatening the Madurai Adheenam. He cautioned him ‘Watch your words. We’re keeping calm now. Problem will come if I show the face of the old Sekar Babu.’. The Modi government is waiting for you to show your old face. Your government has four more years. Lok Sabha elections are 2 years away. We dare you to lay your finger on Madurai Adheenam and see. Just touch and see. We’re waiting for it.”, he said Annamalai also drew attention to the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Madurai Adheenam pontiff recently. “Brother Sekar Babu should have at least been cautious after seeing the photo of the two. If he is not prudent even then, it means that his bad time has started.”, he warned.
The Madurai pontiff was the first among 18 chiefs of adheenams to hit out against the DMK govt after it banned Pattina Pravesam, a century-old custom of people carrying the seer in a palanquin, ritual at Dharmapuram mutt.
In another incident, The podhu Dikshithars , hereditary custodians cum archakars of Sri Sabanayagar temple in Chidambaram did not permit a HR and CE team to inspect books of accounts and all details related to revenue and expenditure. The Dikshidars has written to the PM on TN government’s bid to take over the temple, interfering in the temple affair. They said TN government has no power to call for records or make an inspection in the religious denomination temple at will. Sekar Babu said the state government has no intention to take over the Sri Natarajar temple in Chidambaram but it will not hesitate to inquire into complaints from devotees.
Only last week Sekarbabu said several Saivaite mutts had been serving the society for centuries and working for the development of Tamil, its culture and tradition. The State government would respect them and maintain cordial relations with all of them.