‘What happened to the ornaments donated by the 16th century ruler Krishnadevaraya to the Tirupati temple?’ This is the question posed by the Central Information Commission (CIC) to the the shrine of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Culture Ministry and the Andhra Pradesh government.
The CIC also took the TTD to task for skirting accountability under Right to Information (RTI) act, and suggested it stop posturing on immunity, as reported by The Times of India.
This it did while hearing the plea of B K S R Ayyangar who wanted to know from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) what action had been taken on his representation for declaration of TTD Tirumala Temples as historical and as national heritage monuments. Failing to get any response Ayyangar had approached the CIC which is the highest appellate authority in this regard and sought directions for disclosure in the matter.
As reported by the Business Standard, the Information Commissioner Sridhar Aacharyulu pointed out that as per a report of the Director of Archaelogy anf Museums, Hyderabad, a 20-member team had found inscriptions engraved on the walls of the Tirumala temple that mention ornaments donated by Vijayanagara King Sri Krishna Devaraya.
The Commissioner also asked the PMO to make public the government’s decision regarding the declaration of Tirumala temples as national monuments and put into action an international obligation to protect the world heritage structures and ornaments. The TTD had shelved a 2011 proposal to declare the temple and temples around as ancient monuments under the provisions of Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. This alleged Ayyangar was a failure to protect the 1500-year-old structures in the temple complex.
The petitioner also brought the issue of the demolition of the 15th century thousand pillared mandapam (hall) in 2003, and as quoted by the daily, lamented that had the temples been declared ancient monuments, the TTD would not have dared to pull it down.
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