Tamil Nadu: BJP protests in front of temples to demand access on weekends

Hundreds of BJP workers gathered and raised slogans against the DMK government and claimed it is showing spiritual animosity by restricting the public from worshiping on weekends.

The Tamil Nadu unit of BJP Thursday organised a demonstration in front of 12 major temples in the state demanding the state government to allow the public to enter places of worship on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Earlier in a statement, state president K Annamalai had said he would lead the protest in Chennai and other senior leaders, including former Union minister and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan, former BJP National Secretary H Raja, senior leader and MLA Nayinaar Nagendran, MLA Vanathi Srinivasan and other leaders will spearhead the protests in other cities.

Hundreds of BJP workers gathered and raised slogans against the DMK government and claimed it is showing spiritual animosity by restricting the public from worshiping on weekends and added DMK thrusts its Ideology on the public.

Addressing the gathering in front of Sri Kaalikambal temple in Chennai, Annamalai said: “Navaratri festival starts today. Each of these nine days are auspicious to us. But we are now in a situation where we cannot enter any temple on the weekends. The protest is not politically motivated, we don’t have the necessity to do politics using religion. They (DMK) do that, their leader Kalaignar M Karunanidhi did that through the dialogues he wrote for Parasakthi. DMK had been doing it indirectly all these years and now since they are in power, they are doing it directly.”

He added, “Before coming to power, they said they would close TASMAC and did black flag protests. After assuming power, DMK changed their stand and opened TASMAC and even made police provide protection. We know how severe Covid-19 was in 2020 and 2021. Now, the disease has drastically reduced but still, the government is putting restrictions on temples. The Chief Minister’s son is proudly announcing that their company is releasing a film and asks the public to come to theatres. But the government which invites people to theatres to watch films is prohibiting public entry into temples on weekends, how can we accept this?” he asked.

Annamalai further cited the incidents of people sitting on streets around the temple tanks to perform rituals for their departed souls on the occasion of Mahalaya Amavasya. “Covid-19, which doesn’t affect the people when TASMAC is kept open, when DMK ministers campaign for the rural local body polls, or when theatres are kept open, will only affect when people enter temples,” he quipped.

Commenting on the government’s decision to melt the excess gold offered by the devotees in temples run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department and deposit them in banks to raise funds to develop the infrastructure of the temple and for other welfare schemes of the temples, Annamalai said they are offerings to the gods and as per HR and CE rules, only the concerned temple trustee has the power to take decisions for the temples and not the government. He said BJP will knock the doors of the judiciary against this decision.

Annamalai said without hurting the sentiments of devotees and earning their wrath, the government should allow the people to enter the places of worship on weekends. He said if the government fails to implement this within ten days, the Tamil Nadu unit of BJP will stage an agitation in 4.5 lakh temples located across the state.

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