To search this blog

Friday, July 6, 2012

protests continue at Thirukadanmallai divyadesam [Mamallapuram]

The Srivaishnavaite tradition and sampradhayam is constantly threatened by non-believers ; quite unfortunately sometimes, there is trouble from the administrators who are expected to administer, organize and manage the affairs of the temple.  There are many puranic temples which are in bad condition, not cared for and not maintained and there lack of funds would be cited.   At places which thrive with support of devotees,  money is spent on everything other than upkeep of temple, upholding of agamas and religious practices preserved and followed through centuries. 

While the Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam is smoldering  on the steps to place granite and roof at the only open space in front of  Sri Varadharajar sannathi, at Thirukkadanmallai [Mamallapuram / Mahabalipuram] divyadesam,   ‘Sthalasayana Perumal” immortalized by the verses of Azhwars and reverred for being the birth place of Sri Boothath Azhwar is threatened by the takeover of   Archaeological Survey of India.  People strongly apprehend that once and when the Temple comes within the control of  Archaeological Survey of India, it would become more of a monumental place rather than the Temple of worship.   The Act also forbades that the monuments should not be used for the purposes of holding any meeting, reception conference or entertainment – ‘these should not in any way stop congregation of devotees and temple related activities – is what our concern is’.   Once the Temple is under control of authorities who either do not care to understand or have least regards for ‘agamas / sasthras / sampradhayams / religious procedures’ , it becomes all too difficult to continue with the time-honoured traditions that have been in vogue.

Though the asthiga Srivaishnavaites have not reacted as strongly as they should have, locals have been unflinching in their fight against the take over.  Residents have been flooding the Archaeological Survey of Indias sub-office in Mamallapuram and Circle office at Fort St George in Chennai with petitions against the move.  In a show of solidarity against the takeover, people hoisted black flags atop all 3,500 houses, 1,000 shops in the town.  That was only a beginning for the group of people coming together without any party affiliation.  Public anger was evident in their protests which spilled over to the streets as residents staged a road block last week; even the arrests did not deter them. 

The residents unequivocally state that they have been living there  for generations and are better informed about the town's heritage than those coming here to conserve it.  They claim that their  opposition is not against conservation but the restrictions that will follow.   The temple, built in the eight century, has some of the most ancient sculptures in Mamallapuram.  The protests are organized under the banner ‘ Mamallapuram Makkal Vazhvurimai Meetpu Kuzhu’ (committee for retrieval of livelihood of the people of Mamallpuram).  The committee  had been  formed in response the ASI announcement that the temple would be brought under its protective umbrella.

One fondly hopes wisdom prevails and the religious activities continue in the traditional fervour unabated

With regards – S. Sampahtkumar.

No comments:

Post a Comment