The presence of a large number of devotees gathered two-hundred-year-old Suyambu Thamburan temple in Coimbatore, defying the heavy downpour, to protest against its demolition forced the Corporation officials to leave without fulfilling the task assigned to them by political masters, namely the Dravidian Stock DMK government led by M K Stalin.
The temple is located in the seventh ward of Coimbatore Corporation –Goldevins, Duraiswamy Nager –Ramalakshmi Nagar area. It is said to be more than two hundred years old. The Murthy or the main idol is said to form on its own (suayambu). People in and around the area have been visiting the temple regularly to have a darshan of the god. The temple is spread across 4,000 Sq. Ft land.
A town planning department official with the Corporation told the media that Suyambu Thambiran temple was encroaching upon half of Veeriyampalayam Road, which was 50 feet wide.
After hearing a petition filed by an individual from a nearby resident running a commercial complex, the High Court, in June this year, had ordered the demolition of the temple as it was encroaching upon the road. Armed with a court order, the city corporation officials on 4th August initiated the demolition of the temple. A Team of officials with police, and Revenue officials came to the spot to execute the order. A large number of people, BJP, VHP and Hindu Munnani cadres got wind of the demolition move and thronged the area despite the rain.
A resident of the area Uma Krishnamurthy told your correspondent “When the officials asked the bull dozer operation to start the demolition of the temple. The crowd, mostly women with tears in their eyes and started chanting OM Namashivaya with choked voices. Unfazed by the protest and the crowd, the demolition pulled down a compound wall and a toilet at the temple with help of an earthmover. The crowd raised slogans against the government, the officials and the police.
A Corporation said they had to stop the demolition work as people squatted on the temple premises in protest against the drive and also it was raining. It alleged that the commercial complex owner felt the temple was a hindrance to the park vehicles of his customers. He used his political connection to achieve his goal. No notice was given and as per agamas, the main idols have to be kept in water and balaalayam has to be done. Without doing such rituals, the demolition was furthered. This move angered the devotees.
Uma Krishnamurthy said the officials gave us time till Monday to get stay orders to stop the demotion drive. BJP district functionary Senthil Kumar said “the idol in the temple was not a man-made one and it was a self-manifested with at least 100 years of history behind it. Demolishing such an old temple would affect the religious sentiments of thousands of devotees. Members of the temple committee have urged officials to leave the temple in its present condition. The locals said they are surprised to see the haste shown by the officials to pull down a Hindu temple. Despite court orders, the HR and CE are yet to recover lands belonging to several temples. The government has not honoured the court orders in reclaiming a vast tract of land from Queensland near Chennai. There are several churches and mosques either on the government land or on the water bodies or blocking the waterways. The present. DMK government is keen on demolishing only Hindu temples. So far during the one year and above rule, nearly 200 temples have been razed down in several places of the state”.
This show of unity is a only small battle won in the never ending battles waged by the Dravidian government of Tamil Nadu but an important one.