Even before the move by a section of Christians under the banner of the Christian Front dies down, other similar efforts have been made in Chennai. Thiruneermalai Neervanna Perumal temple atop the hillock is one 108 Vaishnavite divine Kshetram. Aazhwargal wrote Tamil poems (Paasurangal) praising the Lord and his consort. It draws a crowd on almost all days. But a section of Christians have been trying to set up an arch to celebrate the golden jubilee of Anthoniyar church in the area. Hindu Munnani has been waging a war against the move, which it feels will create communal clashes.
Hindu Munnai leaders told the Organiser that in Ramesh Nagar on Tambaram West road which is an approved layout. Some Christians bought a piece of land, built a Church, and started conducting masses and prayers. They have also unilaterally changed the street’s name from Ramesh Nagar First Street to Church Road” and are trying to erect an arch. Due to Hindu Munnani’s protests, the arch’s construction was stopped”. They said, “The road is being used by over 1000 people and heavy vehicles. Such illegal constructions will hamper the free flow of traffic and the movement of heavy vehicles. In that place, plans are afoot to build a Government high school. But Christians are citing a Tambaram Corporation resolution dated September 26 this year. 50th Ward councillor M Yaqub brought a resolution seeking permission to erect Anthoniyar Church Arch under the Tambaram Jurisdiction in Ward 50. A release from the Corporation signed by the Commissioner said a resolution granting permission to erect an arch on July 27 was adopted in the Corporation meeting. The resolution copy has been attached herewith”.
51 ward Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) councillor B Lingeswari, in a letter dated July 24, said Anthoniyar church has been functioning since 1979, and over 350 families living in the area are visiting the Church to do prayers. Thousands of People living in and around Tambaram areas are coming to the Church daily irrespective of caste or religion. To help laities and devotees easily identify the Church, erecting an Arch on the Church road is a must. Also, to celebrate its 50th year, Golden Jubilee, the arch is needed. Hence, I request you to grant permission to erect an arch on Church Road and pass a resolution in the Corporation Council meeting”. Hindu Munnani said it is an attempt to grab Thiruneermalai slowly and will start claiming its own with false narratives.
Hindu Munnani function J S Kishorekumar said, “Christians have changed the name of the Nagamalai hillock as Mariah Madha Chruch Hillock. This is near Chennimalai, where there was an attempt to change the name to Yesu Hillock or Kalwari Hillock. Following a massive turnout of devotees and the public to condemn the move, it has now been put on hold. Here in Nagamalai (Naga Hill), Christians built illegal constructions in the forest land without permission. We will launch a protest to redeem the Nagamalai from Christians. We have approached the Forest department with representation. The Forest Department is not allowing Hindus to worship temples in their control like Sorimuthu Ayyannar, Chuthuragiri Mahalingam Swamy and so on. But how Christians are being allowed to encroach on the forest lands to build prayer halls affects the environment and ecology. The Naga Malai is four kilometres away from Chennimalai and is part of the hillock. After our protests in Chennimalai, Hindu Munnani workers removed their name boards and installed the NagaMalai signage board. It raises a suspicion that building churches or prayer halls near famous Hindu temples is only to take over the latter in due course by illegal means.
Hindu Munnani leaders said, “DMK Government, which claims they had retrieved temple lands from encroachers, will have the guts to recover the land worth a thousand crores under the illegal occupation of the Madurai South India Church ( Madurai Then India Thirusabai) and publish the news in Media. All church and waqf board properties should be brought under Government control”. The Britishers were the first to demolish Hindu temples. In Chennai, the present High Court premises were once a famous Vaishanavite temple. Temple was relocated to the George Town area. One Lakshmi Venkatraman claims, “In 1516, Mylapore was under the control of the Portugese, who had demolished the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple and built their fort on the spot. … Remains such as pillars, inscriptions and sculptures were found during an archaeological excavation in the Santhome Cathedral in 1923 conducted by the ASI.”
In 2020, Indu Makkal Katch founder Arjune Sampagh and his supporters tried to enter the Church forcefully and were arrested. He wanted to go inside to see the architecture to ensure a Hindu temple earlier.
Kishore said, “To grab any area, the Christians will first install crosses and gauge the pulse. If there is no opposition, they will build a prayer hall with sheds, which will, over the years, become a full-fledged Church and start claiming ownership of the area with forged documents and the support of the ruling Government. It is the well-thought-out strategy of proselytisation missionary gangs. In Hindu Mythology, hillocks and mountain temples are significant in many ways. Trekking the hills with a fair boot will improve our breathing with clean, unpolluted air. After reaching the temple, one will feel fresh, energetic, and brisk. The mountains in the Pyramid shape have cosmic energy and vibrations. For Christians, there are no such places of worship atop the hill in India.
Earlier, Christians attempted to occupy Sholingur Narasimha Perumal hill by placing crosses all over the hillock. After protests from Hindus, they were removed. Near Chennai, the same way crosses were erected and bible verses were written on the hills, an arch and then a Church, hindering the free movement of Hindu devotees. The Hindu Munnani has filed a case in the Supreme Court seeking the recovery of Vajragiri Hill in the Acharapakkam area of Chengalpattu district amid allegations that Christian missionaries are occupying about 60 acres of land and carrying out various manoeuvres to prevent Hindus from entering the hill where there exists an ancient Sivan Temple. In 1965, Puspam Adigalar, a Catholic priest, became the co-founder of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Acharappakam. He installed a statue of Mary on a nearby hill. No construction work was done on the site until 2004. Bakiya Regis, who took over as the priest in 2004, began construction around the statue on the hill. They call it Mazhai Malai Madha Shrine. Areas of the hill and paths were occupied, and buildings were erected on the hillside land belonging to the Pallipettai panchayat.
Paths were blocked for cattle rears that used to let their cattle graze in the pastures of the hill. The Catholic Church has encroached on forest land atop a hill in Thiruvannamalai. Elayankanni hamlet is located 150 feet above the hill, across 160 acres, under the Tamil Nadu forest department. In 1961, some Christians who came to this hilltop occupied 2 acres of forest land and built a church called Carmel Mountain Matha temple. After converting locals, missionaries erected a cross and later built a church in 1982 with the locals’ support. They took five more acres to build infrastructure facilities like car parking, etc., In January 2022, Chengam MLA conducted a Bhoomi pooja to lay a pucca road to the encroached illegal Church.
Tribal residents have been protesting the alleged grabbing of their land in Nallorpathy by Karunya University, owned by the Multi-billionaire and Christian preacher Paul Dhinakaran of Jesus Calls International. The list is an exhaustive one. This will go on till the Hindus wake up from their long slumber and put up a united resistance. They should form a vote bank to make the politicians understand their worth, which is inevitable for their success.