Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Arulmigu Ellai Amman Temple - Triplicane

Thiruvallikkeni aka Triplicane is a place of Temples – many of them puranic having existed for centuries…..

Somewhat closer to Sri Azhagiyasingar sannathi – via Ganapathi Mudali Street,  Chengalvarayan Street, you reach this temple – a common name in Tamilnadu ‘Ellai Amman” – the God protecting the frontiers of a place… each village, each oor perhaps had God of protection – the Aiyyanars and Ellai Ammans… and perhaps this temple existed when Triplicane was a small colony…

There is an arch on the Triplicane High Road on the small lane leading to this temple and you can come through Sundara Murthi Vinayakar Kovil Street (SMV Kovil Street apparently named after the Sundara Murthi Vinayakar – Pillaiyar kovil in the street, just opposite to the temple)

This is the famous temple of ‘Arulmigu Ellai Amman’…. having an entrance facing east and a dwajasthambam infront of the Society.  As you enter there is Anjaneyar on the wall and Navagrahas installed by the side.  Inside you have Sakthi Vinayagar and Murugar with Valli and Deivanai. 

The presiding deity is of course Sri Ellai Amman to whom abishekams are performed regularly.  There is also the idol of dancing Nataraja.

Here are photos of Arulmigu Ellai Amman Uthsavar… come to the temple on this day = starting day of the New year 2014 and have the blessings of Lord

Allikkeni Mainthan.

Friday, 20 December 2013

another Hindu temple razed in Pakistan... does anybody care ?!?!?

Tando Allahyar is a town in Sindh, Pakistan. It is the capital ofTando Allahyar District. ~ and here is a photo of the temple there known as ‘Ramapir’ temple – these are becoming a rarity or the ones that could be read only in newspapers due to intolerance and hatred of the land….

It is common history that after  Pakistan gained independence from Britain on 14 August 1947, approximately 6 million of the country's minority Hindus and Sikhs had to migrate to India. Similarly, nearly an equal number of Muslims left India to live in Pakistan. Today, only 26 out of Pakistan's 428 Hindu temples exist. The 1998 Census of Pakistan recorded less than 2.5 million Hindus. The overwhelming majority of Hindus in Pakistan are concentrated in the Sindh province. In 1951, Hindus constituted 22% of the Pakistani population;  now the share of Hindus is down to 1.7% in Pakistan, and 9.2% in Bangladesh.

The Sindh kingdom and its rulers play an important role in the  great epic – Mahabharat. Legend has it that the city of  Lahore was first founded by Lava, while Kasur was founded by his twin Kusha, both of whome were the sons of Rama.  The Gandhara kingdom of the northwest, and the legendary Gandhara peoples are also a major part of Hindu literature such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Most Pakistani city names (such as Peshawar, Multan) can be traced back to Sanskrit roots.

In Dec last, a 100-year-old temple was  demolished in Pakistan, angry Hindus asked Govt to arrange tickets to India.  PTI Karachi reported on 3.12.12 that a century-old temple in Karachi was hurriedly demolished by a builder despite a Pakistani court hearing a petition seeking a stay on such a move, triggering protests by the minority Hindu community on Sunday. Besides razing the pre-Partition Shri Rama Pir Mandir in Karachi's Soldier Bazar, the builder demolished several houses near it. Nearly 40 people, a majority of them Hindus, became homeless as a result, The Express Tribune reported.   Following the demolition, the Pakistan Hindu Council organised a protest outside the Karachi Press Club

Now today’s Daily Mail carries a news titled :
Pakistan fails to save a Hindu temple... So is anyone really surprised?
By Reema Abbasi 20  December 2013

How is an Islamic place of worship more significant than that of another faith? This question has come to haunt Pakistan now more than ever before.  This week, the Hindu community staged a massive protest at the Karachi Press Club to save the remaining portion of a 100-year-old Mari Mata Temple in the old quarters of Soldier Bazar in Karachi.  This time, a temple was easy prey for commercial gain as opposed to Islamist brutality.  Equality: The priority of Islam in Pakistan has resulted in negligence towards Hinduism in the country

The historic structure was attacked by land-grabbers at the behest of a builder who wants the land for a shopping mall. So far, a portion of the temple has been razed and a dozen Hindu clans that lived in its surrounding area have been forced to evacuate, to subsist under the open sky.

This is not the first Hindu temple to be demolished in the metropolis; another Mari Mata Mandir was brought down last year in the name of commercialism. The Pakistan Hindu Sabha is duly infuriated with the provincial government, the Ministry of Minority Affairs and above all, Sindh's ruling party, the supposedly secular Pakistan Peoples Party.  Each time push comes to shove, all their lofty claims of safeguarding tolerance and equality evaporate.  Hence, the association is left with little choice other than organising mass protests and chalking out a strategy whereby their temple is restored, as are the homes in its area.

It is more than pertinent to mention that the Mata Mari Temple and its plot comes under the Evacuee Trust Protection Board and has existed along with the residents prior to Partition.  For this reason, the Hindu families residing there for over 70 years should have ownership rights to their properties against a nominal fee. There is little evidence to negate the idea that such religious insensitivity has only raised its hideous head after hardliners and madressas mushroomed across the landscape. It seems to have reached a crescendo following cries from popular leaders asking for a peace process with criminals rather than holding them accountable for bloodshed.

Currently, activists and analysts see it as another pretext to generate religious apartheid.  Pakistan's establishment has to recognize the crying need of the hour - to make an example of this criminal incident by hauling up perpetrators, initiating restoration and institutuionalising the most eminent of values - a country that celebrates God must recognize all that is human.

The writer is a columnist based in Karachi

Below Hindu temples in Pakistan being attacked and demolished............

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Kanchi Seers acquitted ~ walks free in Sankararaman murder case

சுமார் 9 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு மேல் நடைபெற்று வந்த காஞ்சிபுரம் சங்கரராமன் கொலை வழக்கில் குற்றம்சாட்டப்பட்ட காஞ்சி மடாதிபதி ஜெயேந்திரர், இளைய மடாதிபதி வியேந்திரர் உள்ளிட்ட அனைவரையும் விடுதலை செய்து புதுச்சேரி சிறப்பு நீதிமன்றம் இன்று  தீர்ப்பு வழங்கி உள்ளது.

The two seers of Kanchi Sankara Mutt, Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi have been acquitted…. Rightfully this should make Hindus happy……

The case relates to the murder of A. Sankararaman, manager of the Sri Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu that took place on September 3, 2004

The acquittal is for sure a huge relief to the pontiffs of Kanchi Sankara Mutt, Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi, and all the followers of the glorious Mutt.

The Puducherry sessions court this morning acquitted them in the sensational case of murder of a temple official in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu. Besides the seers, arraigned as accused 1 and accused 2 respectively in the murder of A Sankararaman, Manager of the Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram district, 21 other accused were also acquitted by Puducherry Principal District and Sessions Judge C S Murugan. A total of 24 persons were made accused in the case, but one of them, Kathiravan, was killed early this year.

The judge held that the witnesses failed to support the prosecution case that the two Sankaracharyas — Jayendra (78) and Vijayendra (44) -- were part of a conspiracy to eliminate the temple official in September 2004. He also said the witnesses, including Sankararaman’s daughter, failed to identify the accused in the court. None of them identified any accused in the court and no incriminating evidence was made out against the accused, the judge noted.

Arrest during Diwali : The arrest of Jayendra Saraswathi on Diwali day in November 2004 in Andhra Pradesh and later his heir apparent, Vijayendra, came as a big jolt to the Kanchi Mutt and its followers.

The keenly-anticipated judgement was delivered in a packed court hall for which security was beefed up in and around the area.

The scars of the arrest will remain ever as the high seat of Saivaite religion was attacked and Hindus failed to rise as one in condemning.

The believers must have had total faith that their seers will do nothing wrong… that way this will ever remain a sordid episode… Jaya Jaya Sankara .. Hara Hara Sankara...

Report source : The Hindu & Dinamalar.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sri Veera Vigneswarar Visarjana Procession at Triplicane

Visarjana procession of 18 feet Veera Vigneswarar  at Thiruvallikkeni Thiruvatteswararpet..  at 1.31 noon – flagged off Sri Rama Gopalan…

some photos taken at the start of the function of the Urvalam.

Jai Sri Ram..

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Thiruvotriyur Vadivudam Amman - Thyagarajaswami Temple - neglect of authorities

We the devotees believe totally in God and go to temples regularly ~ it is not simply a habit but a belief – totally immersed belief – the one of surrendering ourselves in the Lotus feet of the Lord.  When we visit the various temples, often we feel sad over the poor maintenance and derelict attitude of those managing the temples.  The Vaishnavaites call them ‘108 Divyadesams’ – similarly for Saivaites there are 275 – ‘Paadal Petra Stalams’ – of which  32 are in the Tondai Nadu.  Some are big, some small – all equal in divinity …. In the city of Chennai is the famous Thiagarajaswamy temple at Tiruvotriyur.   This temple is several centuries old, eulogized by poets, scholars and devotees alike, affirms the splendor of India’s religious tradition and spiritual ethos.

Tradition holds that this Shiva stala was the first temple ever on the face of the earth and was called ‘Adipuri’ (‘the primordial town’). In the same vein, the moolavar here is called Adipureeswarar. Shiva is present as Agni or fire. He is also present as a swayambu lingam of earth covered with a kavacham removed only on the occasion of the Karthikai Full Moon.  The place “Thiruvotriyur” existed many centuries earlier to the formation of Chennapatnam.

By some accounts it is stated that the great grammarian Pannini sat in penance here and worshipped with staunch devotion obtaining the sutras which formed the basis of his exponential treatise on Sanskrit grammar.  From 1835 to 1858, Sri Ramalinga Adigalar visited Otriyur everyday, for 23 years and received the blessings of Sri Thiagarajaswamy.  Sri Ramalinga Adigalar  composed 31 verses on Shiva titled Ezhuttariyum Perumal Maalai’ and 102 verses on Shakthi titled ‘Vadivudai Manikka Maalai’.

Now this place is in news for wrong reasons…… Historians, archaeologists and devotees are up in arms against the renovation of Thyagarajaswamy temple, popularly known as Sri Vadivudai Amman temple, in Tiruvottiyur ~ reports The Hindu newspaper.

Temple authorities have removed granite slabs with inscriptions from the temple floor and are replacing them with rough granite. This ancient temple, classified as a ‘paadal petra sthalam’, contains the most number of inscriptions in this part of the country. “Tamil saint and poet Vallalar had sung at the very spot where the idols of Arunagirinathar and Murugan were — both have been removed now. The temple is being renovated but its identity is being destroyed. The officials are rude whenever we question them,” said a devotee. R. Nagaswamy, former director of the Tamil Nadu archaeology department, said, the temple could have originally been a brick structure that existed around the 7th century AD. “Around 1020 AD, Rajendra Chola rebuilt it. The stones have been there for over 1,000 years. The expert appointed by the government for restoring the temples has not been consulted for the renovation,” he said.

The Tirupati temple had planned to cover Vijayanagara inscriptions with gold sheets but the courts dismissed the idea. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department had replaced the flooring in the Parthasarathy temple with granite but devotees objected to it, Dr. Nagaswamy said. According to S. Swaminathan, author of several books on temples, the inscriptions serve as proof of our history. “There are methods for the preservation of 1,000-year-old inscriptions. The stones have remained there for centuries. What is the need to move them now? Can an executive engineer replace a stone in the Taj Mahal?” he said.

T.R. Ramesh, president, Temple Worshipers Society, said a few slabs of inscriptions were broken when they were moved without adequate care. “Damage has been done to not just the inscriptions but also to some Shiva lingams. The temple had 11 ‘ekadasa rudra’ Shiva lingams that are now in a shambles,” he said.

An official in the HR&CE department, which manages the affairs of the temple, said the stone inscriptions on the floor near the Durgai Amman Sannidhi in the Aadhipureeswarar shrine were removed so they could be reinstalled in a suitable spot. Similarly, lingams behind the Aadhipureeswarar Sannidhi were removed to be placed on a dais. “The flooring in the temple is being redone,” the official said, adding “the inscriptions were placed wrongly on the floor, in the past. Usually, they are found on the walls of old temples. In order to safeguard the inscriptions, they are being re-installed suitably so the public can view them.”
sad state of neglect... the temple - management !!!!

On a different plane, photograph taken by a research scholar of the State archaeology department on her mobile phone has helped unearth rare Chola-era paintings at an Adipuriswarar (Lord Shiva) temple in Tiruvottiyur. The findings, archaeologists said, were rare as this is the first time paintings of the Chola era have been discovered in Chennai, which experts believe was only a peripheral part of the ancient dynasty.

A  team of archaeologists and epigraphists led by S. Vasanthi, commissioner-in-charge of the archaeology department arrived at the temple, and having inspected the wall, found that the painting, and others around it, were genuine. They were confirmed as belonging to the Chola era, due to their colour and unique style. The colours yellow and red, a senior archaeologist said, were predominant in Chola paintings, while in those of the Vijayanagara era, blue — especially peacock blue — was the primary colour. While the panel or framework of the paintings is about 8.5 feet high and 1.5 feet wide, the visible portion of the paintings only stretch to 3.5 feet on the wall. An archaeologist said the painting was possibly the work of Chola King Parantaka – I (907– 951 A.D) and depicts Lord Shiva adorned with gold ornaments on his chest and waist. A unique feature of the painting, he said, was the style of the head-gear in it – a knot with flowers atop it.

The significance of the paintings, according to archaeologists, lies in the fact that during the Chola era, Tiruvottiyur and its adjoining area Thondai Mandalam, were considered a buffer area on the northern portion of the kingdom, between the warring dynasties – the Chalukyas and the Cholas, in ninth century A.D. As a result, these areas were very well maintained by the Cholas to ensure that they did not fall into the hands of their rivals, the Chalukyas. And so, the localities were well kept and beautified and temples here were elaborately painted.

All that is history as the Temple authorities are destroying its antiquity
without concern for its heritage values.

Photos of the temple : courtesy www.vadivudaiamman.org and recent photo and news courtesy : the Hindu newspaper. 

Sarna Tribes in Jharkhand forced to protest.....

livemint photo

Anywhere else such a huge gathering would have attracted Press headlines but not in our Secular State – when they belong to majority community…

I had earlier written on Sarna tribal community from Jharkhand.  To them, Lord Dharmesh is the most powerful and most important deity. He is responsible for the creation of the Universe  besides acting as  protector. The great one Dharmesh’s purity demands that he be offered sacrifices only of things that are white.

Back in their land they are protesting depiction of Mother Mary wearing a red border sari and holding Jesus Christ in a way tribal women of Jharkhand hold their babies, by tying them to a white cloth.  Dharmguru (priest) of Sarna society Bandhan Tigga said, "Anybody can wear a white sari with red border but making Mother Marry wear it seems to be a tactic to convert the Sarna tribals into Christianity. Mother Mary was a foreigner and showing her as a tribal woman is definitely not correct." The Sarnas worship Mother Nature or Maa Sarna. Tigga said the Christians are trying to establish Mother Mary as Maa Sarna to confuse the people of Sarna society. "Red border means a lot in Sarna dharm. Our women wear white sari with red border during auspicious times. If the idol of Mother Mary is shown in the getup of a tribal woman then 100 years from now people will think that Mother Mary was a tribal from Jharkhand," he said.

Their appeals have fallen in deaf ears and the adamancy is  forcing them to agitate….

Religious leaders of the Sarna tribe have announced an agitation this December demanding that the statue of Virgin Mary clad in white red bordered saree and holding baby Jesus  be removed from a Catholic parish church in Singpur at a Nagri village some 25km from Ranchi. Terming it religious ulgulan (revolution), some 15,000 Sarna tribal groups assembled at Singhpur village, 25km from city limits, protesting against the statue for its “misleading tribal look”.

On August 24, Ranchi district administration announced the enforcement of Section 144, IPC, on Sunday from 4am to 10pm. Barricades put up at a 25m radius from the church sealed all approach lanes. Tribal protesters, including women dressed in white saris with red borders, started a 6km march from Dravid Ashram on the other end of the Dhurwa dam to reach Singhpur. Amid heavy security bandobast, including two riot control vehicles, the protesters assembled some 200m from the church to voice their objection to the statue.

Tribal women usually wear the white-and-red sari on festive occasions. They also carry their children on one side in a sling. Tribal religious leader Bandhan Tigga pointed out this resemblance with the Mother Mary statue. “Mariyam is dark-complexioned and wearing a red-and-white sari. She is holding a baby Jesus in the tribal style. This is a conspiracy to convert innocent tribals into Christianity,” he alleged. “We don’t interfere with anyone’s religion. Why would anyone misinterpret, misinform and mislead ours,” septuagenarian Kusum Tirkey, clad in white sari with a red border, said.

Around 3pm, protesters made a move towards the church, but were stopped by security.  The rally dispersed after 6pm. Nagri BDO Rohit Singh confirmed late in the evening that “no untoward incident had occurred”.“We don’t want to take the law in our hand. We’ve assembled to show our unity and pass few resolutions and a future course of action. We are trying to meet the chief minister and governor with our memo tomorrow (Monday). On December 25, we will hold a massive global tribal rally at Morabadi,” Tigga said.

To them it clearly is a proselytizing ploy – depicting Mary as a tribal woman.  The Sarna tribals have tried all in the realms of peaceful possibility to convey their moods to the Church authorities … who are not willing to listen.  The talks have broken down because the Church has ignore the request.  Sarna tribals are apprehensive that this  is a  deviant ungainly strategy for conversion and to attack their distinct culture.   They are fighting and showing their opposition  not just this but other attacks on  Hindu faith in Bible Society publications which give false accounts of  Hindu religious practices describing them as uncivilised’… the missionaries calling Hindu believers as ‘sinners’ must stop…..

More than 27 Sarna religious groups have publicly demanded the removal of the statue, unveiled by the Archbishop of Ranchi Cardinal Telesphore Toppo. The Catholic church has so far refrained from commenting  and have held to whatever they have been doing ignoring the requests and appeals.  They are bracing for trouble and are intolerant to secular principles that they expect others to practice. 

Sad that attacks on Hinduism and its practices continue - on one side, their practices are ridiculed at the same time - other religions try to mimic them by holding 'rath festivals' 'hoisting of flag during annual festivals' and the like.... Hinduism and its practices continue but at the same time Christianity tries to follow local practices including ‘the Rath festival, hoisting of flag on the mast and more’ to give a local flavour to their foreign practices.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Charging fees in the name of Special darshan in temples - stopped ....

கோவில்களில் சிறப்பு நுழைவு கட்டணம் ரத்து. ஹிந்துக்களின்  வெற்றி!

Devotees  flock to Temples on important days – be it days of religious significance or days of value for the individuals… We believe in God and when we place ourselves before the God with full faith ~ sure all our difficulties will vanish – just as the mist vanishes in Sun…………

In Tamilnadu Temples are managed by HR&CE – who run temples as ‘money spinning centers’…. They charge the devotees for everything .. for having darshan, devotees are made to wait in long queues for long hours – then they introduce ‘paid darshan’….. in some temples during certain hours – devotees cannot have darshan without paying for it…. Everywhere you have differential Queues – Sarva darshan; special darshan; VIP darshan – many more names… those who pay have quick darshan……… is this right ?  - certainly not. 

Hindu Munnani has been fighting relentlessly against this – they have been demanding abolition of all paid 'darshans' in Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu.  Their volunteers have been vowing to fight a  'dharma yudh' (war for justice) to press for it.  Sri Rama Gopalan is aged and is affected by illness – still he has the indomitable will to fight against all eveils.  He has been giving clarion call for mobilizing people  to fight for abolition of ‘fees for darshan’.

Temples have huge property – these are not being administered well – you see boards showing defaulters… who allowed them for so many years.  There are encroachments in temple lands and tenants are not paying the lowly priced rents too.

Very happy to read this report in Dinamalar stating that HR&CE has given oral orders to temples to abolish special darshan fees. The report states that following the order in entire Tamilnadu the paid darshan stands stopped in 142 temples.

The order comes in the wake of a Court order before the High Court Madurai bench challenging charging devotees and forcing paid darshan.

இந்து சமய அறநிலையத் துறை கோவில்களில், உயரதிகாரிகளின் உத்தரவை அடுத்து, சிறப்பு நுழைவு கட்டணத்தை, தற்காலிகமாக ரத்து செய்ய வேண்டும் என, கோவில் செயல் அலுவலர்களுக்கு உத்தரவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதையேற்று, தமிழகம் முழுவதும், 142 கோவில்களில், சிறப்பு தரிசனம் நுழைவுக் கட்டணம், தற்காலிகமாக ரத்து செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது. இந்து சமய அறநிலையத் துறை கட்டுப்பாட்டில், 38,689 கோவில்கள் உள்ளன. இவற்றில், 235 கோவில்கள், அதிகளவில் வருவாய் ஈட்டும் கோவில்களாக உள்ளன.

இக்கோவில்களில், சுவாமியை தரிசனம் செய்ய வரும் பக்தர்களிடம், சிறப்பு நுழைவுக் கட்டணம் கோவிலுக்கு ஏற்றவாறு, 5 ரூபாய் முதல் 200 ரூபாய் வரையில் வசூலிக்கப்படுகிறது. இதன் மூலம், ஆண்டிற்கு ஒரு கோவிலுக்கு, பல லட்சம் வரை வசூலாகி வந்தது. இதில் கிடைக்கும் வருவாய், கோவில் வளர்ச்சி பணிக்காக பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டு வந்தது. இந்நிலையில், நேற்று முன்தினம் முதல் திடீரென, இந்து சமய அறநிலையத் துறை உயரதிகாரிகளின் உத்தரவை அடுத்து, தமிழகம் முழுவதும், 142 கோவில்களில், சிறப்பு தரிசனம் நுழைவுக் கட்டணத்தை, கோவில் செயல் அலுவலர்கள் மூலமாக தற்காலிகமாக ரத்து செய்துள்ளனர்.

இதுகுறித்து, செயல் அலுவலர் ஒருவர் கூறுகையில், ""சிறப்புக் கட்டணம் ரத்து செய்யக் கோரி, ஒருவர் மதுரை நீதிமன்றத்தில் மனுதாக்கல் செய்திருந்தார். அதன் எதிரொலியாக, உயரதிகாரிகளின் வாய் வழி உத்தரவை அடுத்து, கோவில்களின் சிறப்பு நுழைவுக் கட்டணம், தற்காலிகமாக நிறுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளது'' என்றார்


Saturday, 3 August 2013

anything against Na Mo is right for some press

In what was highlighted at ‘Reality Vs Claims’ the Hindu of date pictorially covered the speech of a person – primarily because it was anti Narendra Modi.

Na Mo is anathema to The Hindu and some sections of the press and anything against him immediately qualifies as a fact and correct statement.
The report states that human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi  called for close scrutiny of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s claims, that his State is a ‘model for development’. Ms. Hashmi challenged the numbers presented in Mr. Modi’s campaigns
Every person and the person sure have the right to comment and hold opinion of their own ~ but to say that what is presented as official figure is incorrect and the person just because one is opposing Na Mo is factually correct betrays logic and clearly exposes the side where the newspaper is coloured

Sarna tribals protect wrong depiction of mother Mary

Here is a procession of women wearing red bordered white sarees protesting something… does the Nation want to know what it was ?

Two weeks ago a group of teenage girls from a village on the outskirts of Ranchi in Jharkhand achieved something that sportspersons with the best facilities and support in cities often aspire for but don’t always succeed. On July 13, the 18 tribal girls representing Yuwa India under-14 all-girls team were placed third among 10 teams playing for the Gasteiz Cup in Victoria Gasteiz in Spain. The girls — a majority of  them  played outside their village in Ormanjhi for the first time – immediately upon the announcement they ran into the dressing room and draped themselves in traditional sarees

They are the members of Sarna tribal community from Jharkhand.  To them, Lord Dharmesh is the most powerful and most important deity. He is responsible for the creation of the Universe  besides acting as  protector. The great one Dharmesh’s purity demands that he be offered sacrifices only of things that are white.

Back in their land they are protesting depiction of Mother Mary wearing a red border sari and holding Jesus Christ in a way tribal women of Jharkhand hold their babies, by tying them to a white cloth. [full report in Times of India and Indian Expresss]. A procession was taken out by the Sarna society against this statue on Monday. The statue was unveiled by Cardinal Telesphor P Toppo in a church at Singpur village in Dhurwa recently.

Dharmguru (priest) of Sarna society Bandhan Tigga said, "Anybody can wear a white sari with red border but making Mother Marry wear it seems to be a tactic to convert the Sarna tribals into Christianity. Mother Mary was a foreigner and showing her as a tribal woman is definitely not correct." The Sarnas worship Mother Nature or Maa Sarna. Tigga said the Christians are trying to establish Mother Mary as Maa Sarna to confuse the people of Sarna society. "Red border means a lot in Sarna dharm. Our women wear white sari with red border during auspicious times. If the idol of Mother Mary is shown in the getup of a tribal woman then 100 years from now people will think that Mother Mary was a tribal from Jharkhand," he said.

Sarna society is demanding the removal of that particular statue. Tigga said, "We do not want any kind of conflict between the two communities. All we want is that either the statue should be removed or the attire should be changed so that Mother Mary doesn't look like a tribal woman. If it is not done then we will intensify the protest."

Cardinal Telesphor P Toppo, is reportedly in Rome. Talks between church representatives and the Sarna faith have broken down and the Sarna elders have set August 24 as the deadline for their demand to be met. The statue shows a dark-complexioned Mary in a white saree with a red border, her hair in a bun and bangles around her wrists. She is carrying the infant Jesus on a sling, just as tribal woman do. Bandhan Tigga, dharmguru of Sarna society, said, "We have invited all the people of the Sarna religion from across the country to join us for a massive protest at Singpur on August 25. We are expecting lakhs of people, particularly from Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh andJharkhand, will turn up to join our protest."

There have been many such attempts in the past and the way things are now is well known to all of us, who chose to be silent all the time.

Thanks to Times of India and Indian Express for the reports.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Na Mo unites .... Indian legislators petition US... ?!?!?!?

Every  morning old and poor people gather before the State Secretariat – they come travelling miles – they carry a written petition representing their grievance and seek the Sovereign authority to redress their grievances.. perfect – in a democracy, one needs to present their woes before the appropriate authorities and can expect them to addressed and redressed…. But will somebody stand before the US Embassy or Russian embassy wanting to submit a petition ~ may sound ridiculous – only when they are ordinary citizens….

USA is anathema to many political parties especially the Communists here… to some most global events are consequence of US Imperialism, autocracy, monopolistic hegemony and more…. ‘anti-people attitude’ – we condemn, we condemn…… is the slogan raised in many such platforms. To almost all of them there is another anathema – ‘Narendra Modi’…….

The idea was to cause embarrassment to Narendra Modi in perpetuity. It ended up embarrassing those who tried to ensure that he does not get a US visa instead. The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) which campaigned for a letter from Indian lawmakers against Modi and supposedly obtained their signatures, real or cut-and-paste, surely has left a lot of MPs red faced according to this report in First Post.  The controversy around the current letter, bearing signatures of 25 Rajya Sabha members and 40 from the Lok Sabha, first sent to Obama on 26 November, then on 5 December last year and re-sent on Sunday is because of its content. It says: “We wish to respectfully urge you to maintain the current policy of denying Mr Modi a visa to the United States”.
Adding to their discomfiture is a Washington Post story which begins by saying: “It is almost unthinkable that Indian lawmakers would appeal to the United States to take a stand on an internal matter. Most Indian politicians, many of whom still nurse a Cold War-era suspicion of Washington, would bristle at the very thought of it.”

CPM leader and Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury immediately denied  that he signed on any such letter. He appeared to be at discomfort on being publicised as being a co-author of a letter that was addressed to the American President to respectfully urge him to intervene in a domestic political and legal issue. DMK MP KP Ramalingam followed Yechury in issuing a denial. “I have not signed any letter to the US regarding Narendra Modi’s visa. I am not a US Senator. I am a Rajya Sabha MP. Why would I interfere in their things,” he said. But then the man behind the campaign, Mohammed Adeeb, Independent Rajya Sabha member, claims that it was duly signed by Yechury and others. CPI MP Sayeed Aziz, too, claims that the signatures on the letter by Yechury and other leaders are authentic.

Many thanks to Firstpost for this newsitem and here is the one of Washington Post reproduced click here to read the original : Indian legislators petition US

NEW DELHI – It is almost unthinkable that Indian lawmakers would appeal to the United States to take a stand on an internal matter. Most Indian politicians, many of whom still nurse a Cold War-era suspicion of Washington, would bristle at the very thought of it. It couldn’t have been easy, then, for 65 members of India’s parliament to fax a letter to President Obama on Sunday requesting that his government not grant a visa to thecontroversial Hindu nationalist politician Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the state of Gujarat. The lawmakers had sent the same letter last year as well.

Modi is emerging as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s likely candidate for prime minister in the national elections next year. But he has been accused by international human rights groups of looking the other way when Hindu-Muslim religious violence paralyzed his state in 2002. Over 1,000 people died in the riots, most of them Muslims. After widespread criticism, the U.S. denied him a visa to visit in 2005.

Within India, Modi’s political stature has risen since the 2002 Gujarat violence. He’s seen as pro-business and his state hosts the factories of U.S. companies such as Ford and General Motors. At a time when the national government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is plagued by corruption allegations, Modi’s reputation for administrative efficiency is serving him well. He has not expressed regret for the riots and has said that the charges against him are politically motivated.
Many European nations have renewed ties with him.

Earlier this week, the president of Modi’s party, Rajnath Singh, told reporters in New York that he will urge Washington to reconsider the visa denial. That prompted the group of lawmakers who had earlier written Obama to once again send their letter, which they released to the Indian media on Tuesday.

“We wish to respectfully urge you to maintain the current policy of denying Mr. Modi a visa to the United States,” said the letter, signed by mostly Muslim lawmakers from several parties, including the ruling Congress Party. “Given that legal cases against the culprits including many senior officials in Mr. Modi’s administration are still pending in the court of law, any revoking of the ban at this juncture would be seen as a dismissal of the issues concerning Mr. Modi’s role in the horrific massacres of 2002. It would legitimize Mr. Modi’s human rights violations and seriously impact the nature of US-India relations by sending a message that the United States values economic interests over and above the universal values of human rights and justice.”

The Times Now television news channel ran a primetime debate on Tuesday titled, “Is it appropriate for Indian politicians to drag their fight with Modi to Washington’s court?”
Jay Narayan Vyas, a senior colleague of Modi in the Gujarat government, said it was like “washing dirty linen outside the country.”
“Please maintain national dignity, we are the largest democracy in the world,” said former diplomat Gopalaswami Parthasarathy
On Twitter, it fueled humor.

Sure it appears total contradiction of parties who claim on every platform that US interferes, meddles and forces its way into the affairs of every country… but they plead to the sovereign country going against the very principle that they campaign….

If they had signed without even caring to see to whom the petition was addressed or without reading the contents – the statement itself speak volumes of their action…..

If they had not signed or had their signatures been forged, it would only be appropriate that they institute legal action against those misusing their signature….

Will any of this happen ? 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Priest promises job and cheats 3 women........... !!!

Priest promises jobs to 3 women, cheats them of 2L

Today there is an article in Times of India titled ‘Priest promises jobs to 3 women, cheats them of 2L’  ~ though one can technically defend, this is one misleading caption………… Whosoever be it, anyone committing a mistake must be punished ~ more so, when crimes are committed by people whom the society consider to be pious, good at heart and as serving the society !!!

Sadly, Hinduism is under attack in the media and by many people ~ who throw stones without even caring to know the basics and for people like them, headlines like these are fodder….. this news can and could easily be misinterpreted to mean that some priest of a hindu temple had committed some serious harm……. Now first read the news item before forming any opinion…….

Times News Network : Chennai: A 35-year-old priest, who had cheated three women of several lakhs with promises of jobs in the central government, the state secretariat and under the ‘Amma thittam’, was arrested on Wednesday.

The priest, Ezhilarasan of Peravallur in north Chennai, was introduced to the victims through Rebecca of GKM Colony. She took Ezhilarasan to the houses of the victims in the same area to pray for their wellbeing. Once he came to know of their problems, he promised attractive jobs for them or their family members, claiming that he had a lot of political influence. His first victim was Sudarmathi, who was desperately looking for a job for her brother. He promised the youth a good placement in Southern Railway and took Rs 1.6 lakh and a one-sovereign gold chain from her, a police officer said. He similarly took Rs 60,000 from Saroja, with the promise of a job in a government hospital, and Rs 10,000 from a woman named Latha after telling her he would get her a job in a bank.

Believing him, the victims arranged the money by pledging their gold jewellery or borrowing from private financiers, said an investigating officer. “For a while, the victims did not suspect any foul play as he always sounded confident,” said a senior police officer. They lodged complaints with police only after he neither got them the promised jobs nor repaid the money. Ezhilarasan, who is married with three children, had been staying in Mathur since May. He is also suspected to have cheated job aspirants in other areas like Otteri. More complaints are likely to be lodged against the priest, police said.

Sources reveal that he was not employed in any of the Hindu temples….. English dictionary gives synonyms to the Father / Preacher in a Church as : Chaplain, clergyperson, cleric, curate, divine, ecclesiastic, elder,father confessor, friar,holy man, lama, man of God, man of the cloth, monk, padre, pontiff, preacher, rector,vicar, Bishop, Curate……………….

In Hindu temples the Pujari / Archagar is  commonly referred to as  ‘Priest’ in English media…….in Sanskrit / Hindu, they are Purohit / Pandits………

Rest is left to your imagination and understanding… !!!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

HR&CE bans laying of granite in temples.... what happened in Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple ????

A few months back, the decision of  Temple authorities saddened the ardent devotees.   There were  continuing protests at Thiruvallkeni at the puranic Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple, a divyadesam sung by 3 Azhwars.  The authorities  placed black granite in the inner prakaram over the black stone, which became  a hindrance with devotees finding it too hot to step on and too slippery when it rains.  Not caring for the aesthetic design nor for the time-old traditions, the authorities  erected structure covering the place fully, which prevented the devotees from having darshan of the Sacred Vimana. There  were loud protests and signature campaign, procession and more.

The residents of Triplicanes and the devotees who throng the sacred Temple expressed  their pain and anguish in peaceful democratic protests ~ nothing fell in the ear of authorities.  Janata Party leader Sri Subramaniya Swami too visited the temple lending his support.   As the peaceful efforts failed,  a section of devotees filed a petition before the Hon’ble court.

The authorities stated in the Court that what was constructed was a semi-permanent structure and with the powers that be the petition was dismissed much to the anguish of everyone.

Today it is reported in Dinamalar that HR &CE has banned affixing granite slabs inside the temples under its administration……. Does this not amount tacit acceptance of what they did in Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple was wrong ?????

கோவில்களில் வழவழப்பான கிரானைட் பதிக்க தடை
பதிவு செய்த நாள் : ஜூலை 07,2013,00:35 IST

கிரானைட் கற்கள் பதிக்கப்பட்ட, கோவில் உட்பிரகாரத்தில் வலம் வரும் பக்தர்கள், மழை காலங்களில், வழுக்கி விழுவதை தவிர்க்க, கோவில்களில், வழவழப்பான கிரானைட் கற்களை பதிக்க தடை விதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. 

தமிழகம் முழுவதும், இந்து சமய அறநிலையத்துறையின் கட்டுப்பாட்டின் கீழ், 30 ஆயிரத்துக்கும் மேற்பட்ட கோவில்கள் உள்ளன. கோவில்களின் வருமானம் மற்றும் பக்தர்களின் வருகைக்கு ஏற்ப, அடிப்படை வசதி உள்ளிட்டவற்றில், பல மேம்பாட்டு பணி மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்டு வருகிறது.

பெரும்பாலான முதல் நிலை மற்றும் இரண்டாம் நிலை கோவில்களின், தரை தளம் பல ஆண்டு பழமை வாய்ந்தவை. கோவில் நிர்வாகம் சார்பில், அடிக்கடி, பராமரிப்பு பணி மேற்கொள்ளப்படுவது வழக்கம். கிரானைட் வருகைக்கு பிறகு, பெரும்பாலான கோவில் களில், கட்டுமான பணிகளில், அதிகளவு கிரானைட் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. கிரானைட் கற்களை எளிதில் துடைத்து சுத்தம் செய்து விட முடியும் என்பதால், கோவிலின் உட்பிரகாரத்துக்குள் நுழையும் வழித்தடம் முதல், பக்தர்கள் வலம் வரும் உட்பிரகாரம் வரை, அனைத்தும், கிரானைட் மயமாகி வருகிறது. வயதான மற்றும் பெற்றோருடன் கோவிலுக்கு வரும் குழந்தைகள், அடிக்கடி வழவழப்பான கிரானைட் கற்களில் கீழே விழுந்து விடுகின்றனர். குறிப்பாக, மழைக்காலங்களில், உட்பிரகாரத்தில் வலம் வரும்போது, பக்தர்கள் கீழே விழுந்து, கடும் சிரமத்துக்குள்ளாகி வருகின்றனர்.

இந்நிலையில், இந்து சமய அறநிலையத்துறையின் கீழ், கோவில்களுக்கு அதிரடி உத்தரவு ஒன்று பிறப்பிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. அதில், "கிரானைட் கற்கள் மீது நடந்து வரும் பக்தர்கள், குறிப்பாக முதியவர்கள், அடிக்கடி கீழே விழுந்து விடுகின்றனர். வரும் காலங்களில், கோவில் கட்டுமான பணிகளில், கோவில் உட்பிரகாரத்தில், வழவழப்பான கிரானைட் கற்களை பதிப்பதற்கு பதிலாக, வழவழப்பு குறைந்த, சொர சொரப்பான கிரானைட் கற்களை பதிக்க வேண்டும்' என, தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.