The DMK government has given special permission to partymen and their families to witness SooraSamharam in Tiruchendur while chasing away devotees who took shelter in the temple in the midst of heavy rain. Devotees were left to lie down on footpaths and open mandapams after being chased out from the temple complex.
The Samharam of Soorapadman and Tarakasura by Deva Senapati Karthikeya is an important occasion observed across Tamil Nadu. Hindus celebrate it as the victory of good over evil and the Samharam is replicated with more fervour in the six abodes of Skanda. Tiruchendur is the most important of them all as Skanda Purana says the deity slayed the asuras there. Devotees of Muruga from across the state throng the Subrahmanya swami temple in Tiruchendur on this occasion.
Many ardent devotees keep fast for days till sashti tithi on which Samharam takes place. Such devotees take refuge in the temple complex at night and continue their stay till the last day of the festival. On November 6 devotees had stayed in the auditorium as it was raining. The North East monsoon has been wreaking havoc across the east coast of TN.
So the devotees had taken refuge in the auditorium as it was raining. But police and HRCE officials asked them to vacate the place citing Covid-19 regulations saying that so many people staying inside the auditorium will spread the virus. When the devotees asked where else they could go with womenfolk and babies in rain they were forcefully removed from there.
Allegedly police manhandled a woman devotee and dragged her by her hair to remove her from the premises. HRCE had also closed Shanmugha Vilasam, a chathiram(inn of sorts built for devotees’ use) and denied access to the public. BJP and Hindu Munnani had staged a protest then and there condemning the police and HRCE. However no remedy was in sight and devotees had to lie down in open mandapams and footpaths shivering in biting cold.
But all the Covid-19 norms in whose name devotees were harassed went for a toss on the day of SooraSamharam. While devotees were banned from witnessing the event that was held on the beach, DMK party men and their families were granted special VVIP passes. Media reported that HRCE minister Sekar Babu’s wife, daughter, local MLA Anitha Radhakrishnan’s PA and his relatives were allowed to witness the event. “The temple authorities had received orders from Chennai to issue VVIP passes to relatives and friends of some influential persons” the report said.
TNBJP president K.Annamalai shared the news clipping saying the DMK government forcibly chased and lathi charged the devotees only to allow HRCE minister’s family the next day. There have been allegations of similar happenings across the state in other temples as well. Hindu organisations have alleged that limited tickets issued for everyday free darshan are being sold or given away to influential people.
Accusing HRCE of not allowing local devotees in Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar temple, Hindu organisations have threatened to protest if this discriminatory practice isn’t done away before Karthigai festival. Devotees are continuously harassed like this while the atheist DMK government continues to meddle in temple affairs.