In an unsurprising move the DMK government has included Kanimozhi MP, an atheist and Geeta Jeevan, a Christian MLA in the committee for establishing educational institutions using temple money. Earlier the HRCE minister had announced that schools and colleges will be built on temple lands to get income. It was opposed by Hindus as the government would be running the schools and colleges as secular institutions.
The HRCE minister’s announcement drew widespread criticism as the government, through HRCE, has no business spending temple money. Many expressed fears that the educational institutions established thus would be run as secular institutions despite the fact that they are being built using Hindu temples’ money.
Proving those fears, the HRCE minister had called for a meeting to discuss building 10 new colleges and a Siddha hospital to which atheist MP Kanimozhi and a Christian MLA Geeta Jeevan were invited. Thoothukudi is one of the districts where the ministry plans to build colleges. Kanimozhi and Geeta Jeevan are respectively the MP and MLA of the constituency. Even though they could have been invited in that regard, how can an atheist, who degrades the beliefs of Hindus, be let to decide how Hindu temple money should be spent?
Will the church invite Hindu MLAs and MPs to discuss how they should spend church money? When the presence of HRCE in most of the temples itself is questionable, how can it put its hands on temple money to spend for secular purposes? Earlier HRCE faced flak when the Joint Commissioner office in Kanyakumari had written just “Endowment Board” instead of “Hindu Religious & Endowment Board” and had to remove it after widespread protests. Now Kanimozhi has also used the same phrase “Endowment Board” instead of HRCE in her tweet about visiting the prospective site for the upcoming college.
The suspicion and opposition to HRCE’s plan does not come without reason. When DMK minister of Higher Education K.Ponmudi said that “Dravidian schools” should be a norm in all schools and colleges, DMK supporters interpreted it as the exact opposite of “Aryan schools” implying that Brahmins won’t be allowed there. Another one tweeted “It could teach how to break the Brahmin lobby and analysis and study Brahmins’ cunningness”.
Another one tweeted the picture of late M.Karunanidhi and the current CM MK.Stalin “checking” the janeu of a boy disguised as saint Thiruvalluvar with a quote “This is called Dravidian School”. How can temple money be used for this discriminatory act of DMK, a political party in power for only 5 years? Kanimozhi who is now choosing sites for college to be built using temple money had once mocked Hindus for worshipping Tirupati Balaji. She had said “Why would you worship someone who can’t even protect his Hundi”. She had mocked the deity saying he needed armed guards to protect his wealth.
Another important point to be noted is that, the DMK government had earlier appointed Dindigul Leonie as the head of the textbook committee. A Jesuit priest of Loyola College, Chennai had proudly proclaimed that he had injected Christian theological content in school syllabus when the state government asked him to revise the social sciences syllabus for 1st to 12th standard in the past. Such decisions and incidents make a strong case to oppose any meddling of temple wealth to inject Dravidian and abrahamic ideology into the young impressionable minds of TN.