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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

DMK govt interrupts Hindu Religious Conference, an 85-year old affair in Mandaikadu temple

The DMK government has snatched the rights of a Hindu organisation to conduct a religious conference in a temple in Kanyakumari. The conference has been an annual affair happening for more than 80 years. It was started as an effort to educate Hindus about dharma and counter-conversion attempts of missionaries during British rule.

Haindava Seva Sangam has been conducting the Hindu Religious Conference in Mandaikkadu Bhagavathi Amman temple every year during the Masi Kodai festival. The conference was started in 1936 and had been going on since then without any hurdles. But this year, the DMK government chose to interrupt it through HRCE, claiming that private functions cannot be allowed inside the temple.

HRCE said that private organisations could not collect funds or issue receipts in the name of the deity Mandaikkadu Bhagavati Amman. It issued these diktats after the Kaalkol(laying poles for pandal on an auspicious day as the beginning of the event) was done. Later HRCE said that it would conduct the conference as the proprietor of the temple and printed invitations even though Haindava Seva Sangam had already printed and distributed the invitations for the event.

Hindu activists and BJP alleged that Christian minister Mano Thanagaraj was on witch hunt since he was not invited to the conference while BJP leaders like state president K Annamalai and Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarrajan were. As if confirming their suspicions HRCE’s invitation announced that the district collector will preside over the event and minister Mano Thangaraj will grace the dais with other ministers. 

Swami Chaitanya Maharaj, the head of Vellimalai Ashram in Kanyakumari which has been a thorn in the side of evangelists, had warned CM MK Stalin against turning Kanyakumari into another Ayodhya by denying Hindus their basic rights. He recalled the 1982 riots in which Hindu devotees were attacked by Christians from the nearby church during the same festival and warned against a similar situation as a result of his missionary appeasement policies. Nagercoil Mayor Mahesh, a DMK man, threatened Swami ji, saying they have received complaints against the seer and Haindava Seva Sangam.

He leveled unfounded allegations that the organisation took over temple structures in the name of seva and claimed all the events held at temples were at their own efforts. He alleged that by claiming this, the organisation was collecting funds illegally, which is why CM directed HRCE to organise the event, denying permission to Haindava Seva Sangam. “They have put the names of BJP functionaries in their invitation. Is this a Hindu religious conference or a political conference?”, he questioned.

The Sangam had invited Congress leader Vijay Vasanth, who is the Lok Sabha MP of the Kanyakumari constituency as well. Swami ji replied saying that they are conducting the conference to educate Hindus about dharma and the government can observe the event. He said they can take action if there is any politics involved and other religions are spoken ill off. He further said that the Sangam’s books are audited every year and are open for checking if the government wants.

He told the media that HRCE is trying to stop them at the behest of minister Mano Thangaraj who doesn’t like it being an obstacle to missionary plans. After widespread protests in the district HRCE minister Sekar Babu talked to BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan and other representatives of Haindava Seva Sanagam to resolve the issue. In the end, it was decided that the Sangam would invite some speakers on HRCE’s list and that both would jointly conduct the conference.

This is nothing but the government poking its nose into Hindu affairs and trampling on Hindu rights. The DMK government assumed power in May 2021. It didn’t find out that the Sangam is cheating people of money in the name of the conference or that BJP leaders were invited to it last year. It wasn’t bothered about it all these 80 years when it was and wasn’t in power about what the Sangam does or what happens in the conference. But this year they find all these issues and try to stop the event. It could only mean that CM Stalin has become a puppet of the church.

Recently, Hindu activists exposed that the St Louisa Church near Mandaikadu Bhagavathi temple was collecting rent from shops set up on the beach adjoining the temple on the occasion of the Masi festival. In 2021, the temple roof caught fire. During the Prashnam the deity revealed that none of the customs and traditions are followed properly by HRCE. She told through the Prashnam that naivedyam was not pure, temple premises aren’t clean and the vastram put on the murti was also dirty. 

The Prashnam further revealed that flowers, garlands, and silk bought for or donated to Devi were sold outside instead of adorning her, and impure clothes were put on her. The Devi expressed her dissatisfaction at the fact that the temple tank wasn’t properly maintained and food items prepared at the temple kitchen were sold by HRCE without being offered as naivedyam to her. Since then, it has only been downhill with HRCE meddling in everything.

One might remember George Ponnaiah, the Catholic priest who denigrated Bhuma Devi and threatened Hindus saying Christians have become the majority(70%) in the district. DMK’s main ally Rahul Gandhi met the priest during the Jodo Yatra. CM Stalin, his ministers and even his son Udayanidhi have expressed their support for the Christian community many time even going so far as to say that Christians installed the DMK government.

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