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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Despite owning 330 acre land in 1886, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple has only 24 acre now

A whopping 306 acre of land belonging to Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple is encroached. Tamil Nadu HRCE minister Sekar Babu revealed that out of the 330 acre land belonging to Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, only 24 acres is not encroached and under HRCE control.

HRCE minister is on a tour across the state and recently he visited Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam as well. While there, he talked to the press and said that there are records from 1886 that say the temple had 330 acre of properties in and around Srirangam. He revealed that out of that 330 acre only 24 acre is with the temple now. All other properties have been gradually encroached with shops and houses.

He assured that the encroached properties will be recovered through legal means. But he also said that if the encroachers come forward on their own to pay rent they’ll be recognised as such. Notably both DMK and ADMK have promised to give patta to the encroachers of temple lands and legalise their stay. However, such attempts have been thwarted by temple activists with the help of the judiciary.

Many of the temple properties are encroached by non-Hindus and in some cases even missionaries. For example the Divisional Headquarters of the Salvation Army along with a church operates from the land of Sri Gangadhareshwara temple. It has been squatting the land for many years without even paying the rent which had accumulated to more than 5 lakh.  In 2018 alone the 5 FCRA NGOs of Salvation Army received a whopping 81 crore from abroad. It is anyone’s guess why HRCE would give temple land for free to such a wealthy organisation for its religious purposes.

Similarly Muslims of Thanjavur and adjoining areas have encroached on the properties of Punnainallur Mariamman temple. Madurai Koodal Azhagar temple tank was encroached by Muslims and recovered only after court intervened. While the reality is like this, how can the encroachers of temple lands be given a choice to utilise the property by renting or leasing it out? 

Kings and noblemen endowed properties on temples so that temples could earn and sustain their everyday affairs and also create an ecosystem where everyone benefits. But shackled by the secular government’s hold, temple lands are given away freely to those who vow to destroy Sanatana Dharma. This attempt to legitimise encroachments on temple properties and give them away to abrahamics should be opposed tooth and nail.

(Featured Image Source: Twitter)

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