Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai today (29 June) issued a detailed statement on the issue of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government planning to take over the Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram.
The statement came after a row over temporary restrictions on darshan from the Kanagasabhai mandapam during the recent Aani Thirumanjanam festival at the Chidambaram temple.
Annamalai said that the governmment's intention to take over the temple, which was announced by Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) minister P Sekar Babu yesterday (28 June) was against the sentiments of devotees and orders issued by the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court.
Sekar Babu had said that the Podhu Dikshitars (hereditary custodians of the temple) had occupied the temple and were running it like their own company.
Annamalai said, "In 1951, the Madras High Court after hearing petitions numbered 2591/1951 and 668/1951, held that the Chidambaram Dikshitars are a denominational community under Article 26 of the Constitution and they had the rights to administer the temple.
"A case filed by the then state government in the Supreme Court was dismissed."
Further, he said that the HRCE Act of 1959 clearly states that the state government has no authority over temples under the control of denominations.
"In 2009, similar to what is happening now, the then DMK government brought a governement order to take over control of the temple."
"The Supreme Court struck it down in 2014."
Since then the DMK has always been trying to find out some or the other problem in the Chidambaram temple, he said.
He added that that the Dikshitars did not oppose the government's request to audit the jewellery possessed by the temple or its order allowing darshan from the Kanagasabhai mandapam. (This was a previous G.O. issued after the darshan was stopped in between due to Covid).
But the DMK government, which is hell bent on creating problems in the temple, decided to make an issue out of the temporary restrictions imposed during the Aani Thirumanjanam festival.
He said that this restriction is well known and is done for security reasons as all the jewels are offered to Lord Nataraja during this time and called for action against HRCE officials who tried to forcibly climb up the mandapam.
He then asked Sekar Babu to answer an allegation that the Special District Collector appointed to administer 3500 acres of land belonging to the temple has not provided the details of revenue collected nor deposited the income in the temple's account for the last 15 years.
Further, he said that Sekar Babu was yet to honour the Madras High Court's order to privately audit the assets of over 37000 temples under the control of the HRCE department.
Ending his letter he said that the atheistic DMK government would have to face the consequences as it was not only working against the interests of Hindus but also against the Constitution and judgements given by the Courts.
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