Ayyappa Devotees Assaulted In TN Temple For Questioning Long Queue; Annamalai Shares Video Slamming Stalin Govt

Ayyappa Devotees Assaulted In TN Temple For Questioning Long Queue; Annamalai Shares Video Slamming Stalin Govt

Annamalai: Trichy district unit will hold a protest outside the Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple against the TN HR&CE department

Ruddhi PhadkeUpdated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 12:36 PM IST
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TN BJP State President K Annamalai | file pic

Tamil Nadu BJP Chief K Annamalai has come down heavily against the the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department and has criticised them for the most recent incidents of violence allegedly reported near a temple in the state. Annamalai said that devotees were allegedly assaulted at Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple for raising questions over long wait in queue.

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Annamalai: Will hold protest at temple

Posting a video on X (formerly known as Twitter, Annamalai said, "Iyyappa devotees questioned the long wait in the queue and special treatment to a select few who were assaulted near the sanctorum leading to resulted in bloodshed inside the Temple premises. This arrogance of the HR&CE department is one of the many reasons why Tamil Nadu BJP has been wanting them out of Temple administration."

Annamalai further said that the Trichy district unit will today hold a protest outside the Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple against the TN HR&CE department, demanding the strictest action against those spoiling the sanctity of the Temple.

HR&CE board formed in 1921

HR&CE was earlier a board, formed in 1921, responsible for the assets of temples. Till then, temples were managed by trusts, many of which were accused of mismanaging properties. To curb this corruption, the government decided to give more powers to the officials. A committee was set up and based on its recommendation, the board was converted into a government department in 1951.

11,000 officials responsible for maintaining temples

At present, 11,000 officials are responsible for the care of the temples. But as allegations of employees being involved in stealing of idols come up, there is an urgent need to review how matters spiralled out of control for the department.

The department did not have a proper account of the properties owned by the temples until recently. It is only in the past couple of years that the department began recording details of temple lands. With no count yet of missing idols, it is only when a sculpture is recovered that it goes down in the record books. Sources say that over the years nearly 1,200 idols have been stolen from temples with or without the involvement of department employees.

HR&CE management facing criticism since years

Over 60 years after the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department was formed to protect temple treasures in the state, the department has been facing heavy criticism for not doing enough as per expected.

From stolen idols to loss of jewellery, damage to rare inscriptions on temple walls because of improper renovations and encroachment of acres of temple land — multiple allegations have put the department at a crossroads.

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