Will govt take over Chidambaram temple? What TN Minister says
The Tamil Nadu government has no intention to take over the famous Sri Natarajar temple in Chidambaram but will not hesitate to enquire into complaints from devotees and this should not be seen as an “anti-Dikshidar” move aimed at the traditional administrators of the shrine, state minister PK Sekar Babu said on Tuesday (June 7).
Babu’s statement came in the wake of the Dikshidars’ alleged non-cooperation with a team of officials of the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) which went to conduct an inspection at the famous temple at Chidambaram in the Cuddalore district.
The team of officials, led by a deputy commissioner, went to the temple but the Dikshidars did not produce any records of expenditure or others, insisting the HR&CE had no jurisdiction to conduct the inspection but insisted they were not against any such activity.
The Dikshidars’ lawyer told a Tamil TV channel that the “inspection is without any legal jurisdiction” and cited previous Supreme Court ruling to buttress his claim.
“They have no jurisdiction and we said we will not undergo it to assert our right…we did not say we will not be subject to any inspection at all,” he said.
Babu, speaking to reporters in Chennai, said the HR&CE department has no intentions to take over the temple and this was conveyed to the Diskshidars (Shaivite Brahmins) by him during his visit to the temple on Monday.
He said that as per an earlier High Court ruling, the shrine is a public temple. That being the case, when some complaints were received by the HR&CE, according to relevant legal sections inspection can be done based on those complaints. This has been communicated to the temple administrators, he added.
Referring to a Tamil saying, he said if there was no wrongdoing on their part, the Dikshidars should extend their cooperation to the government on the issue.
“Yesterday I visited the temple and insisted the same to the Dikshidars. It is not the HR&CEs intention to take over the temple….don’t see the move as anti-Dikshidars…this is only to enquire about complaints. We will not violate any laws. The HR&CE will certainly undertake the inspection,” he said.
The officials are expected to visit the temple again on Wednesday to carry out the scrutiny of the material.