In a strong message, Sadhguru, Founder-Isha Foundation, called on the Government of Tamil Nadu to free temples from state control to enable their upkeep, preserve their sanctity and reverse their alarming state of decline in Tamil Nadu. "To protect the thousands of temples in Tamil Nadu that are gradually being ruined, the Tamil Nadu government should free temples from the clutches of the government and hand them to the devotees," Sadhguru tweeted tagging Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy, Opposition Leader MK Stalin and actor Rajinikanth. The tweet was part of a series of tweets that Sadhguru has recently released to highlight the pathetic state of temples under state control in Tamil Nadu.
In a video message released on Twitter, Sadhguru called the temples "the source of our Tamil culture," and said that they must be cared for and managed by Devotees who "value temples more than their lives." He termed the desecration of temples “slow poison” adding that he was pained by the neglect and apathy towards these vibrant spaces of worship.
Sadhguru said that the government's own department, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department submitted to the Chennai High Court last year that "11,999 temples (are) dying without a single pooja taking place. 34,000 temples are struggling with (revenue of) less than Rs 10,000 a year and 37,000 temples have (appointed) just one person for pooja, maintenance, security etc."
Sadhguru observed that it was shameful that temples captured for greed by the East India Company 300 years ago, continue to languish in dilapidated states of utter neglect even 74 years after freedom from colonial rule. "If the same situation persists, all but 10 important temples will not exist in the next 100 years," said Sadhguru ominously.
Sadhguru said that the term ‘secular’ means that state and religion will not interfere in each other’s affairs, a right enjoyed by all religions except the Hindu faith. The Constitution terms India a secular nation. However, though all religions manage their own spaces of worship, the special Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act gives the state control over Hindu temples.
"If we do not protect the temples in this generation, they will be gone in the next 50-100 years. Temples that are the source and lifeblood of this culture will be completely devastated," Sadhguru said in his message and called on political parties to promise the people of Tamil Nadu that freeing temples will be a part of their political agenda.
"You have to give this commitment to the people if you want to win the coming elections whether it is the ruling party or other parties. The temples in Tamil Nadu should be freed from the slavery of the government," he said.