Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi on Monday (22 January) said that during his visit to a temple in Chennai, he noted "pervasive sense of fear" among the staff.
Ravi visited Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple, West Mambalam, Chennai and offered prayers to Lord Ram for the well being of all.
The temple is managed by Tamil Nadu government's Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department.
Ravi pointed out that there was an "all pervasive sense of invisible fear and apprehensions" among the temple staff.
This comes as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday (21 January) alleged that Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led Tamil Nadu government banned watching the live telecast of Ayodhya Ram Mandir programmes of 22 January 2024.
She pointed out that there are over 200 temples of Lord Ram in Tamil Nadu. However, in HRCE Act-managed temples no puja/bhajan/prasadam/annadanam in the name of Lord Ram is allowed, as per her post on X.
However, Tamil Nadu HRCE Minister P K Sekarbabu said that the department “hasn’t imposed any limitations on devotees’ freedom to offer food, conduct poojas in the name of Shri Ram, or provide prasad in Tamil Nadu temples” on the occasion of Ram temple Pran Pratishtha on 22 January.
In a post on X, Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan quoted Governor Ravi as saying, "This morning I visited Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple, West Mambalam, Chennai, and offered prayers to Prabhu Sri Ram for the well-being of all".
"This temple is under HR&CE Dept. There was an all pervasive sense of invisible fear and apprehensions writ large on the faces of priests and temple staff. A stark contrast to the festive environment in the rest of the country," Ravi said.
"While the entire country is celebrating the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla, the temple premises here exude a sense of acute repression," the Tamil Nadu governor added.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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