Temples are for people, not someone's private property, says Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin
Chief Minister M K Stalin said, "Temples are only for people, regardless of monarchy or democracy. This (HR&CE) department was established during the Justice Party's leadership to change the situation (of temples being under the jurisdiction of individuals)."
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Sunday said that temples are for the public good and should not be considered private property.
He claimed that some people, unable to bear the various welfare measures taken by the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department, including appointing 'archakas' (priests) from all castes, were attempting to tarnish the DMK administration with bogus allegations.
The Chief Minister presided over a mass marriage of 31 couples at a renowned city temple and distributed 'seervarisai,' the items given to the married couples. The event was held at Thiruvanmiyur's Arulmigu Maruntheeswarar Temple.
He said, "Temples are only for people, regardless of monarchy or democracy. They are just for the general public, regardless of any rules. Shrines are not someone's property. This (HR&CE) department was established during the Justice Party's leadership to alter the situation (of temples being under the jurisdiction of individuals)."
He recalled the DMK's contributions in this area, saying that more temples were consecrated during the late M Karunanidhi's regimes.
Among other things, the current government has reclaimed Rs 3,700 crore in encroached temple grounds, appointed a woman as a priest, and appointed men from various castes as 'archakas' in the temple, fulfilling the wish of reforming leader 'Periyar' E V Ramasamy, the Chief Minister said.
Some anti-unity elements were creating barriers, but the government was facing them lawfully, Stalin commented, referring to criticism of such actions.
"Some people are unable to tolerate this. That is why they engage in mudslinging and propagating lies. They have nothing to do with politics and use religion to make accusations against us. They have no evidence," he continued.
The mass wedding was held with an announcement made in the state Assembly's 2022-23 Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department grants, according to an official release. The HR&CE department manages temples in the state.
The Chief Minister presided over the wedding and handed the 'seervarisai,' among other things, a cot and utensils. On Sunday, 217 couples married under the scheme across the state.
(With inputs from PTI)