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Thursday, May 30, 2024

HRCE allows Crypto Christian DMK man’s marriage in temple, stopped after Hindu outfits protest

Attempts to conduct the marriage of a Christian man working in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board were thwarted by Hindu activists. The man, a DMK office bearer, was to marry a Hindu girl in the Mylapore Kapaleeswarar temple in Chennai.

The wedding invitation and a flex board welcoming DMK leaders attending the marriage drew the attention of Hindu activists. The wedding invitation informed that one Appu Raja and Narmada were to be married at the Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore, Chennai. The groom’s parents’ names were Christian and it was mentioned in the invitation that the reception would be held at the ‘Parish Hall’ in Santhome.

Hindu Munnani, which took notice of the invitation, wrote to the Joint Commissioner of HRCE for Kapaleeswarar temple seeking to withdraw permission granted for the marriage ceremony to be held at the temple. It highlighted the fact that the groom belongs to another religion and allowing his marriage in the temple would violate the Aagma and HRCE rules.

A flex board put up to welcome DMK leader Kanimozhi and HRCE minister Sekar Babu to the marriage also drew attention as groom Appu Raja was mentioned as DMK Students Wing Secretary of the locality. HRCE rules say that those who are employed by the department should profess to be Hindus and the court has emphasized the same many times.

Yet Appu Raja was not only employed by the department but was allowed to hold his marriage at the temple as well. It could have been that he is a crypto-Christian holding a Hindu caste certificate. When the media questioned HRCE Joint Commissioner Kaveri about the incident, she told that she didn’t know Appu Raja is a non-Hindu before she received complaints from Hindu activists. She further said that Appu Raja was asked to cancel the arrangement after higher authorities’ advised her to do so. She assured that none of the Aagama rules were broken in the process.

But it is unclear how she was sure about it when she didn’t even know that Appu Raja is a non-Hindu. HRCE department would possess Appu Raja’s documents from the application form to educational certificates in which his parents’ names would be mentioned. It is curious that they were not taken into account during the screening process starting with approving his application to finally selecting him for the job after thoroughly verifying his original certificates.

It was feared that as soon as DMK came to power it would install Dravidianists in such sensitive positions. True to that, Hindu activists found that DMK office bearers were appointed as temple trustees, which should otherwise be occupied by non-partisan, spiritual persons. Now, the Madras HC has directed HRCE to add questions on the political background of the applicants to trustee posts.

The Kapaleeswarar temple in its current place was built only 300 years ago, after the original 1300 years old temple was demolished by the Portuguese and Santhome Cathedral was built on it. It is believed that fragments of the temple’s inscription can still be found in the cathedral. Assault on the temple continues till today albeit in a different form.

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