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............