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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Temple priest assaulted, his sacred thread cut in Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpattu

In a shocking incident, a temple priest has been attacked and his janeu (sacred thread) cut off for defending the dignity of the temple in Tamil Nadu’s (TN) Chengalpattu district. It has been alleged that a few days back two Christian men assaulted the priest of Varadraja Perumal temple in Arasar Kovil, Madurantakam. 

Kannan Bhattacharya, who has been taking care of the daily affairs of the temple along with his family, was performing the evening Aarti when two men who were in an inebriated condition were seen taking photos of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Photographing the deities is not allowed in most of the agama temples of TN and it is an offence to do so. The priest warned them to not take photos to which they took offence and attacked him. The priest’s family and temple workers who came to his defence were also allegedly attacked by the drunk men.

While the priest lodged a complaint with the local police station, it is said that the police weren’t forthcoming in nabbing the miscreants. Hindu Munnani (Hindu Jagran Manch) and Andhanar Munnetra Kazhagam (AMK), an organisation working towards the betterment of Brahmins in TN, took up the issue and contacted the priest. AMK has posted on Facebook (FB) that their head Rajali Jayaprakash, a lawyer by profession, contacted the priest and assured legal assistance. He also contacted the police who replied that CSR (Community Service Register) has been filed and assured him of action. AMK has threatened to protest if the culprits were not arrested soon.

However, when the local functionaries of AMK assisted Kannan Bhattacharya to the police station to help him with the legal proceedings, the culprits Patrick Selvam and Anthony of Sahaya Nagar apologised and requested the priest to withdraw the case as it would affect their life. Even though the large-hearted priest agreed to withdraw the case, he asked the men to seek forgiveness from the gods whom they had insulted. The men agreed and issued an apology letter.

It is alleged that one of the miscreants, Anthony, is associated with DMK. A picture of a party event which he attended has been seen on social media. However, the veracity of the photo or claim couldn’t be verified.

It must be brought to notice that Dravidar Kazhagam, the parent organisation of DMK vehemently abuses Brahmins and everything associated with them. Periyarist organisations under DK’s guidance organised an event to put janeu on pigs in 2017 during which one poor pig lost its life and 4 other pigs got injured. Such is the hatred Periyarists harbour for Brahmins in particular and Hindus in general. 

In 2018 following BJP national secretary H.Raja’s tweet which said Periyar statues should be removed from TN, janeu of around 15 Brahmins were cut off by Periyar followers in Tiruvallikeni and Mylapore where Brahmins live in large numbers in Chennai.  Four men who indulged in this cowardly act proudly surrendered to the police on their own wearing black t-shirts with a picture of Periyar. Raja claimed that it was the admin of his social media accounts who tweeted the content.

In 2015 an octogenarian temple priest walking alone in Mylapore after completing his daily affairs in the temple was attacked by bikers who cut off his janeu. Later it was revealed that it was Periyarist thugs who did it. The advocate of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, whose members were involved in both the above incidents, accused the likes of H.Raja of inciting Periyarists by their comments on Periyar.

While this so-called revolution of cutting Brahmins’ janeu and shikha went unquestioned in the time of Periyar, nowadays the act is at least condemned by Periyarist organisations for the sake of PR, owing to the power of social media. Likewise, this specific incident brings home the message that taking the legal route is one way of bringing the Periyarists to book.

(Featured Image Source: AMK’s official FB Page)

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