Continuing the cry to Free Tamil Nadu’s Temples from the stranglehold of governmental control, Sadhguru today launched a 100 tweets Twitter campaign to bring attention to the distressing state of temples in the state.
In a strong statement to the political parties and leadership in the state, Sadhguru said in his tweet, “#FreeTNTemples – a Movement born of deep Anguish. Today I am putting 100 tweets, not to browbeat anybody, but just out of deep pain. Anguished cry of the community must be heard.”
Due to the unfortunate legacy that the predatory East India Company left us with, the Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu continue to be in the control of the government. This has led to the deterioration and suffocation of glorious Tamil traditions. The HR&CE (Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department) which holds 44,121 of temples in the state, told the Madras High Court that 11,999 temples have no revenue to perform even one daily puja.
The heart-wrenching tweets featured pictures and videos sent in by devotees all over Tamil Nadu, documenting the neglect and dilapidation of what were once magnificent citadels of the Tamil Ethos.
In a video accompanying the tweet, Sadhguru says, “It is heartrending to see these great works of art, the very Soul of Tamil Culture, the very Heart of the Tamil People, the very source of the Devotion which has nurtured this land, nurtured this language, nurtured our arts and crafts...everything! Everything that is Tamil is rooted in devotion, and the fulcrum of this devotion is Temple. Today, seeing them in such a pathetic state, where thousands of them are in ruins, unattended to, and others moving in that direction – it is time these temples are freed.”
Thousands of citizens have voiced their distress by sharing pictures, videos and tweets: the entire collection reveals an extent of deterioration that is truly shocking. Temples with overgrown shrubbery, damaged walls with vegetation growing out of them, caved-in roofs, forlorn empty sanctums, broken idols and pillars lying discarded to one side… some structures occupied by caretakers and lived in as dwellings, temple ponds completely dry and overgrown or with fetid pools of water… the images reveal a civilization in despair.
Twitter user @poornimathreya records the state of Vijayavaradarajar temple in Baburayanpettai. “For years people have photographed & blogged disconsolately over the most heart wrenching state of this temple & yet it stands untouched, unrelieved of its agony. How can I expect Perumal to reside here?”
Handle @InduJagan notes the damage at the Vaacheswarar Temple, Tirupachur, tweeting: “Damaged 100-pillar Kubera Sannidhi, dead cats at the outer circle and the temple tank being used as a toilet: will I want to go again?”
@Abhishk1009 says: “Our forefathers devoted their lives to create these magnificent structures which lived on for many centuries. I feel sorry that in my generation, we have really killed these vibrant places.”
The #FreeTNTemples movement has been geared towards tangible electoral action. With elections in Tamil Nadu around the corner, Sadhguru has repeatedly urged all political parties to hear the voice of the people and include this vital issue in their election manifestos. The tweet storm has revealed the groundswell of anguish among the community, and received support and attention from a range of notable personalities.
From actresses Kangana Ranaut, Raveena Tandon, Mouni Roy, Sri Divya; Padma Shree awardees Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Mohan Das Pai; veteran journalists, politicians, celebs, sports stars, the support poured in from all quarters as hashtag #FreeTNTemples and #100TweetsForTemples continued to trend through the day.