Hindus of Thiruvottiyur in Chennai have accused a Congress corporator of demanding bribes to allow temple work. Samuel Dhiraviyam, the corporator of Ward 6 in Thriuvottiyur is allegedly disrupting the renovation and construction work of a temple in the area.
Residents of Ward 6 in Thiruvottiyur pooled money for some renovation and construction work in the Shakthi Vinayagar of their locality. As per a News Tamil 27/7 report, instead of helping them by volunteering or funding the work, Congress Corporator Samuel Dhiraviyam demanded bribes from them to allow the construction work. The report further says that he sent his aides to demand bribes from Hindus involved in the temple work.
He is allegedly disrupting the construction work with the help of corrupt corporation officials as they refused to cough up money. To undertake renovation in temples under HRCE control, Hindus need the government’s permission. A few months ago, a retired archaeologist, part of the HRCE(Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments) appointed committee, was caught demanding bribes to grant permission for the renovation of temples under government control.
The committee was formed in order to guide temple management in carrying out renovation works without damaging/destroying the structure and inscriptions of centuries-old temples. Moortheeswari, the archaeology expert who was a member of the committee, demanded Rs 10 lakhs for an inspection report to allow renovation of a temple which is not under government control.
While temples under HRCE control languish in poverty due to corruption, privately managed temples face such harassment. When even a government department which is supposed to protect temples disrupts their functioning nothing better can be expected of politicians. The DMK government is especially vindictive and has been harassing Hindus who work for temple causes by booking them on frivolous charges. Karthik Gopinath, a YouTuber was incarcerated for collecting funds to renovate a temple vandalised by a ‘mentally unstable’ man.