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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Temples are living symbols of our unique culture- Madras HC

The Madras High Court expressed its dismay on how ancient temples are left unattended and the younger generation is unaware of the wisdom they espouse. Last week the court issued a set of directions for the preservation of temples to TNHRCE and directed the government to declare 100 year old Hindu religious structures as National Monuments.

The 224 page order passed by the judges Mahadevan and Adikesavalu, begins with an eloquent description of the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and the need to preserve and pass it on to the future generation. The judges observed, “The younger generation hyping upon science and technological development needs to understand that many things claimed to be discovered and equated with scientific objective were said and laid down here centuries ago in the spiritual sphere. The entire state is strewn with great examples of ancient Tamil architecture that goes as far back as two thousand years. The state has remained a cultural hub for various activities like debates, art, innovations, architecture, music and commerce from time immemorial. The culture, tradition and practices were connected with religious beliefs”.

While talking about the importance of the temple ecosystem, the court said “The monuments are the remembrances of the living witnesses about the golden historic era of over a thousand years. They exemplify the valor of this land and are the symbols of cultural expressions, repositories of knowledge and treasure houses of arts & architecture. They are a continuing legacy, which connect the present with the past and vice versa and are living symbols of unique culture. The culture, tradition and practices were connected with religious beliefs; and the festivities connected there to make them vibrant and colorful.”

The court marvelled at the fact that our ancestors left behind theories that are still beyond our comprehension and that their knowledge and skill was far superior that even in the fields of science there are unanswered questions about the same. It made an important observation that all that the ancestors left behind were not just as personal achievements, but a conscious effort to leave an imprint of the past for the future generations.

The court lamented that despite possessing such rich cultural heritage, the temples and other Hindu religious structures are left in ruins due to the negligence of the government. It emphasized on the need to preserve such structures, as they are sliding into oblivion in recent times from the minds of the younger generation resulting in unawareness of their value.

In this regard the court directed the state to constitute a 17-member heritage commission within two months for the preservation of ancient structures. This commission will identify historically and archeologically important structures like temples, temple tanks, forts, etc in TN, the court said. The commission’s works include listing the ancient structures, issuing notifications, rendering periodical advice to the state and supervising the renovation of the structures.

It further declared that no structural alteration or repair of any ancient structure, temple, idol, sculpture or murals notified either under the Central Act or the State Act should take place without the sanction of the heritage commission. The court also directed the central government to declare religious structures older than 100 years as National Monuments.

(Featured Image Source: Travel Triangle)

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