Stalin: Temples are not someone’s personal property, ‘some’ cannot tolerate welfare measures

Those unable to stand welfare measures taken by the state HR&CE department, including appointment of archakas from all castes, were trying to malign the DMK government, he said at a mass marriage event in a prominent Chennai temple.


Published Dec 04, 2022 | 6:52 PMUpdatedDec 04, 2022 | 6:52 PM

At a mass marriage event in the Thiruvanmiyur Marundeeswarar temple, Stalin said that some people were unable to stand the various welfare measures taken by the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department, including appointing 'archakas' (priests) from all castes

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Sunday said that temples are meant for the public and cannot be someone’s personal property. Stalin claimed that some people are unable to stand the various welfare measures taken by the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department, including appointing ‘archakas’ (priests) from all castes, and were trying to malign the DMK government with baseless allegations.

Chief Minister Stalin presided over a mass marriage of 31 couples at a prominent temple in Chennai and distributed ‘seervarisai’ — items given to married couples.

Appointed archakas from all castes, notes Stalin

“Whether it is monarchy or democracy, temples are for people only. They are for the public only, irrespective of any kind of rule. Shrines are not the personal property of someone. This (HR&CE) department was created during the Justice Party rule only to change that situation (of temples being in individuals’ control),” he said.

Recalling the DMK’s contributions in this sector, he said many temples were consecrated in the party’s past regimes headed by the late M Karunanidhi.

Among others, the present government has reclaimed ₹3,700 crore worth of encroached temple lands while a woman has been appointed as a priest, even as men from all castes have been appointed as ‘archakas’ in temple, fulfilling the wish of reformist leader ‘Periyar’ E V Ramasamy, Stalin added.

Some forces opposed to unity were creating roadblocks but the government was facing them legally, Stalin said in an apparent reference to critics of such measures.

“Some people are unable to tolerate these. That is why they are indulging in mudslinging and spreading falsehoods. They don’t have anything to do politics over, and therefore are using religion to make allegations against us. They don’t have any proof,” he added.

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Mass marriage in Thiruvanmiyur temple

The mass marriage was held in line with an announcement made in the 2022–23 Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department grants in the state Assembly, an official release said. The HR&CE department manages temples in the state.

The event that Stalin presided over was held at the Arulmigu Marundeeswarar Temple at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai.

The chief minister presided over the marriage event and presented the ‘seervarisai,’ comprising among others, cots and utensils.

Across the state, 217 couples got married under the scheme on Sunday.

Also read: A centuries-old play performed every year in a TN temple

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