The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has released a circular that imposes limitations on mass drills and other events organized by the RSS within temple premises. Managing approximately 1,200 temples in southern India, the TDB expressed concern over the display of political leaders' photos in certain temples, stating that such practices "compromise the sanctity of the temples."
'Certain photos of political leaders were displayed at temples'
"RSS shakhas were functioning in many temples, they were performing drills and such activities were taking place. That's the reason why such a circular was issued. Temples are for the believers, there should not be any inconvenience for the devotees to worship. That's the stand of Dewaswom board. To bring to the notice of officials, the circular has been reissued," TDB president Ananthagopan said while talking about the circular.
"In temples, certain photos of political leaders were displayed. Such actions will destroy the purity of temples. Officials will peacefully organise meetings with concerned people and such situations will be avoided. We haven't yet taken a call on action," he added.
Ananthagopan, however, clarified that there was no political pressure behind the issuance of the circular.
"Since January, during the festive season, certain issues were reported related to this. At least in some places, there have been instances where these organisations have interfered in temple activities," the TDB president said.
About the circular
In 2016, the Travancore Devaswom Board released a circular prohibiting the RSS from conducting any kind of arms training within temple premises. On March 30, 2021, the board reiterated its directive, stating that temple premises should exclusively be utilized for temple rituals and festivals, without allowing any other activities to take place.
A recent circular has been released, imposing limitations on mass drills and other activities organized by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) within temple premises. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) issued this new circular, cautioning that stringent measures would be taken against individuals who do not adhere to the ban.
Congress leader VD Satheesan expressed his endorsement of the circular issued by the TDB.
"I am supporting this circular. The RSS is a Sangh Parivar organization. They are spreading hate. They are dividing people. (Temple) premises can't be used for divisive purposes. Temples are sacred places. All sorts of drills should be prohibited inside temple premises. The RSS can't use these properties for divisive purposes. 90 per cent of the Hindu community in Kerala is against the RSS. They don't have any right to do these drills there," Satheesan told news agency ANI.
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