Atheist Assault on Shiva Temple before Shivrathri

via HARAN.B.R published on March 4, 2008








Dikshithars and their Temple:-



 

The ‘Dikshithars’
of Chidambaram are the ancient native people (Aadhi Kudi Makkal) of the land
and their Mother Tongue is Tamil and they are well versed in Vedagamas. Right from
ancient days they are known as “Thillai Moovayiranar” (3000 persons of Thillai)
or “Thillai Vaazh Andhanargal” (Brahmins of Thillai). They reside inside the Temple premises and live
on the ‘Dakshana’ offerings of the devotees apart from the meager crops cultivated
in their agricultural lands. They have marriage relationships within their
community only. They have the traditional rights over the administration,
customs and rituals of the famous NatarajaTemple for centuries
since time immemorial. Their numerical strength has come down from 3000 to 300
families, which can be termed as ‘Micro-Minority’ community.


 


The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple has been declared as a
“Denomination Temple” by the Supreme Court way back in 1958, as an off-shoot
judgment in the case of ‘Mr.Venkateswara Thambulu vs State of Mysore’ (AIR 1958
SC 255 – SC reporter 1958 page 895). ‘DenominationTemple’
means a temple where the community owning the temple has exclusive rights of
deciding the customs, rituals and the running of the temple. In fact, this
verdict must be seen as a confirmation of the denomination status of ChidambaramTemple,
which had been originally pronounced in 1891 (India
Case Report 14, Madras,
Page-103) in the ‘Natesa Dikshithar vs Ganapathy case.  


So, the Government
body HR & CE (Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments) Department has no
say or authority at all on this Temple and it
doesn’t have the legal sanction to interfere in the affairs of this Temple. In other words,
this Temple
doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of HR & CE Department. The Supreme
Court of India had also ascertained this fact in the recent past.


 


General Tradition:-



 


Singing of Tamil Hymns such as Thevaram,
Thiruvachagam, etc, has been going on in all the Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu. The
traditional Priests called ‘Sivacharyars’ perform the poojas as per ‘Agama’
rules and the ‘Odhuvars’ sing the Tamil Hymns after the pooja rituals are over,
and this has been the practice for the past many years. In fact, the ‘Kaala
Pooja’ rituals (normally six times) are known as “Veda Upaasana”, which are
followed by “Gaana Upaasana”, that is the singing of Hymns, not only in Tamil,
but also in many other languages. The Odhuvar-System of singing Tamil Hymns came
into being only in the last hundred and odd years.  



 


Chidambaram Tradition:-



 



 With regards to
ChidambaramTemple, one ‘Prime Place’ is there close
to the ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ called “Chitrambalam Medai” and the ‘Odhuvars’ have
been permitted by the ‘Dikshithars’ to sing Tamil Hymns from the place,
slightly away from the ‘Chitrambalam Medai’.



 

There is a
miniscule section, which is known for its anti-Agamic and anti-Vedic stands,
always attempting to create confusion & problems in the name of “Tamil
Cause”, allegedly pushed from behind by the Atheist Dravidian Parties with lots
of supports. These groups’ demands include Tamil-Consecration (Kumbabishekams
reciting only Tamil Hymns), Tamil-Archanas, etc, while the main agenda is to
wipe off Sanskrit & Vedagamas from Tamil Nadu.


 


 
As this
group and other evil-intentioned chauvinistic elements created problems in
Chidambaram Temple for singing the Tamil Hymns from the ‘Chitrambalam Stage’,
the ‘Dikshithars’ started singing the Tamil Hymns themselves from ‘Chitrambalam
Stage’ regularly. For other singers and Odhuvars, they allow from anywhere else
inside the temple except from inside the Sanctum Sanctorum and the Chitrambalam,
fearing that they might lose their other traditional rights one by one, if once
compromised. Their fear is justified when the mentality of the ‘Atheist
Dravidian Rulers’ and other Dravidian politicians and their perennial
interference in Temple affairs, showing scant regard to culture, history &
tradition, is taken into consideration.



 


A few previous Judgments:-



 

In Mr.Narahari Shasthri
vs BadrinarayananTemple (AIR 1952 SC 245;
SCR 1952 page 849), a concept called “Ceremonial Law” has been mentioned in
respect of ‘Denomination Temples’. That is, the Customs and Rituals (from
opening time and closing time to pooja times to the methodology) and their ways
and means could be decided only by the Community, which owns the Temple and those decisions
are also binding on the community themselves apart from outsiders. In the
‘denomination temples’ the expectations or rights of the devotees and
worshippers are limited and they are bound by the rulings of the Community.


 

In another case
(Thiruvengada Chariyar vs Krsihnaswamy) in 1915, the SC had ruled that one mode
of worship has to be followed at a given time and it cannot be interfered by
another mode of worship (Page-281 of the Madras Weekly Notes).


 

A judgment by
Allahabad High Court in Karamat Hussain vs Janaki Prasad case (AIR 1931
page-674) and a Supreme Court judgment in Ismail Farooqui vs Union of India (SC
1994 – 6 cases – page-361) case, corroborate the earlier judgment of 1915 that
one form of worship cannot be interfered with another form of worship.



 


The Present Issue:-                



 

When things have
been going on smoothly, an evil section comprising ‘Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya
Kazhagam’ (People’s Art & Literature Forum) and ‘Makkal Urimai Padhukappu
Maiyam’ (Protection Centre for People’s Rights), which could not digest the
peaceful running of the Temple, introduced this character called Arumugasamy
(His antecedents need investigation) and instigated him to create trouble for the
Dikshithars. The Atheist parties such as DK, DMK, PMK and VCK extended support
and cooperation for this malicious operation. This man Arumugasamy has also
been behaving like more of a ‘rabble rouser’ than a ‘real devotee’ right from
the beginning. The present DMK
government after taking charge issued an order on April 30, 2007, for allowing Arumugam to sing
Tamil Hymns from ‘Chitrambalam Stage’ near the Sanctum Sanctorum even though it
doesn’t have any authority over this Temple.
The Dikshidars disagreed and prevented Arumugasamy from singing at the Sanctum
Sanctorum.



 


The HC Verdict: –



 

The High Court’s
verdict has come in a general case on the 15th of February 2008, involving
the petitioners Thirugnanasambandam of Thirunelvel and three others against
Tamil Vazhipattu Payirchi Mugaam (Training Camp for Tamil Worship), Chennai,
Publisher of ‘Deiva Murasu’ and HR & CE Department. Juistice V.
Ramasubramanian had held that there will be no restriction on reciting
Thirumurais (Tamil Hymns) during functions held in “Non-Agamic” Temples. He had observed
that, “It is difficult to answer several questions relating to religious
practices with limited human knowledge” and that, “the scope of dispute at
least at the interlocutory stage is confined only to temples consecrated
according to Agama Sastras”. Before disposing off the petitions, he had made
certain interim arrangements as follows:


 


  • There would be no
    restrictions on reciting Thirumurais in any “domestic” functions to
    which they are intended.


  • There will be no
    restriction on Tamil Vazhipattu Payirchi Mugaam in conducting courses on
    Thirumurai and issuing certificates.


  • There will also be no
    restrictions on the defendants from using Thirumurai in functions held in “non-Agamic”Temples.


 

Here, the actual
dispute was, whether Tamil Hymns could be used for functions like Consecraion,
Homas, Havans & Yagnyas in Agamic Temples. The High Court ruled that the HR
& CE could use Tamil Hymns only in non-Agamic Temples. It also directed the HR & CE
department, with a good intention, to ensure proper implementation of its
orders.


 


This settles the issue with the non-vacation of the
‘stay’ granted already against the usage of Tamil Hymns in Agamic Temples. That
is the HR & CE cannot impose the usage of Tamil Hymns in the functions in
Agamic Temples.


 


The point to note here is that, ChidambaramNatarajarTemple is not only Agamic
but also denominated. Hence, HR & CE simply cannot go near it!


 


Our observations on the Chidambaram Issue:-



 

  • As per the “Tamil Nadu Temple Entry Authorization Act” of 1959
    and also as per the Supreme Court’s verdict on “Autonomy of Chidambaram
    Temple & Absolute rights of Dikshidars”, “Arumugasamy can be allowed to sing the Tamil Hymns, but as he is
    an ‘outsider’ and not an ‘Odhuvar’ he has to abide by the traditional
    practices of the Temple while singing the hymns”.


  •  


    As per the
    “HR & CE Laws” compiled by Justice. P.S.Nagarajan of AP High Court, “The Worship of God is subject to
    regulation and the ‘trustees’ (here Dikshithars) are authorized to
    implement the rules to maintain decorum and order, and they are empowered
    to create or modify the rules in regulating the devotees”.
  • We have a question nagging our mind, that is, “When the traditional ‘Odhuvars’ have
    not objected or challenged this traditional practice for the past many
    years, who are these ‘outsiders’ (Arumugasamy and his supporters) to
    challenge the centuries old traditions?”

  • Being an ‘outsider’,
    Arumugasamy must sing from where he was permitted and he cannot ask for a
    particular place from anywhere & everywhere as he likes.


  • The action of the
    State Government seems to be aimed at taking over-all control of the Temple from the hands
    of the Dikshidars.


 



 


The blunder of HR & CE:-



 

Having got the direction from the High Court,
the HR & CE department wrongly interpreted the judgment, probably on
purpose, and issued an order on the
28th of February 2008, binding the Dikshithars to allow
Arumugasamy to sing from the ‘Chitrambalam Stage’, without even attempting to
solve the issue through dialogue. It is alleged that the atheist government,
which is known for its contempt for Hindu Culture & tradition, and its
acquiring sadistic pleasure out of interfering in Temple affairs, has deliberately issued this
order just days before Shivrathri, the sacred annual festival of Hindus. It is
seen by the general public as an attempt to hurt the religious sentiments of
Hindus and also an attempt to take control of the Temple administration


 


The
Melee: –



 


 

On the 3rd of March, Arumugasamy
sitting on a decorated elephant was brought to the Temple in a procession by the so-called Tamil
Activists. He also behaved as though he is a ‘Nayanmar’ and performed his role-play
as per the Dravidian script. Everything seemed to be stage-managed. When a
group of atheists attempted to go along with Arumugasamy to the Sanctum
Sanctorum, the Dikshidars tried to prevent them from going to the Chitrambalam
Medai, which made the police to resort to action. In the melee that followed,
while the police officers were controlling the agitated Dikshidars, Arumugasamy
started singing the hymns and a few more Dikshidars unfolded the screen in
front of the presiding deity to prevent the singer from having a darshan. The
police filed cases on Dikshidars.


 


Two
versions: –



 


  1. The police have said
    that they had removed the Dikshidars from the scene and ensured the
    singing of Hymns by Arumugasamy along with a good darshan.


  2. Arumugasamy had said
    that he could not have a darshan as the screen was unfolded and hence he
    had not sung.






 


The
Repeat Act:-



 

Again in the evening Arumugasamy and the
“activists” along with a large gang of atheist thugs tried to enter the temple
for singing hymns and the police stopped them at the entrance to ensure proper order.
A section of the group indulged in stone pelting on the police and the police
had to resort to lathi charge and arrested 35 activists including seven
advocates out of which two were “Muslims”. The police also arrested eleven
Dikshidars on ‘Attempt to Murder’ Charges and lodged them in Cuddalore prison. Arumugasamy
also surrendered at the Judicial Magistrate’s Court saying that there is no
protection for him outside, as all his supporters have been already arrested
and put behind bars.


 


 


A Look back at the History:-    


 


Centuries old historic traditions have to be respected
and they cannot be compromised just for the sake of a few individuals. Even the
ancient Kings have respected the ChidambaramTemple’s traditions and
accepted the rights of the Dikshithars, which have been sanctioned by none
other than the Lord Shiva himself. The History tells us that the composers of
Thevaram & Thiruvachagam, the Prime Nayanmars (Trinity of Appar, Sundarar
& Sambandar) have also respected the Temple
traditions showing utmost regards to the Dikshithars


. Once, when Raja Raja Chola went to Chidambaram Temple in search of
the original manuscripts (Palm Leaf inscriptions) of “Thevaram” as per the
findings of a Saint named “Nambiandar Nambi” through none other than Lord Ganesha,
he wisely arranged for the grand procession of the ‘Urchavar Idols’ of the
three Nayanmars, when the Dikshithars demanded their presence to open the stock
room where the manuscripts were stored. This made the ‘Dikshithars’ to yield to
his Bakthi, devotion and his sincere interests on giving this world the
timeless treasure of Thevarams. This incident clearly establishes the fact that
the Thirumurais and their composers Nayanmars are well connected with the ChidambaramTemple and that the Dikshidars have
great reverence for them.


 


A few Questions:-


 

  • Who is this Arumugasamy? What are his antecedents? Who is
    operating him from behind?
  • What are the credentials of “Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam”
    and “Makkal Urimai Paadhukappu Maiyam”? Who are the founders and who are
    the main office bearers? How old are these outfits and what they have done
    to the society so far and what is their contribution to the growth of
    Tamil Language? What are their financial sources and how they are
    maintained? How are they running their organizations? Do they act as
    supporters of banned outfits or extremist organizations?
  • Why did the government deliberately misinterpret the HC Order?
    What is the motive behind the government’s wrong action?
  • Why the government has shown undue speed in wrongly
    implementing this order? Knowing pretty well that it doesn’t have any
    jurisdictions over ChidambaramTemple, how did the
    government issue such an order in violation of the Law of the land?

  •  What happened to the
    other Court orders? Has the government implemented all those orders which
    were delivered before this?
  • In the middle of 2006 (August presumably) the Nanguneri
    District Munsiff Court ordered for the ‘reinstalling’ of ‘Shiva Idol’ at
    the Thirukurungudi Temple and directed the government to ensure its
    reinstallation. What happened to that order and why the government has not
    taken any actions even after one and a half years?
  • Why should the ‘atheist’ political parties interfere in ‘Temple’ affairs? If
    the rights of Tamils and the growth of Tamil are their areas of concern,
    why can’t they work towards ensuring ‘Tamil Worship’ in Mosques and
    Churches?
  • Why can’t they ensure singing of Thirumurais at the beginning
    and the end of their own party meetings and conferences, as many of their
    cadres are believers?


 


The Present (04-02-08) Situation:-



 

Arumugasamy and
his supporters (35 people including 7 advocates) are fasting in Cuddalore jail
as a mark of protest.


 

The remaining
Dikshidars in Chidambaram are a demoralized and dejected lot and they are deeply
hurt that a thing like this had happened just before celebrating the highly
sacred & important Shivrathri festival.


 

The state
government has issued a ‘warning’ to those (people in general and Dikshithars
in particular) who oppose the reciting of Tamil Hymns inside the temple, by
saying that severe legal action would be taken on them.


 


 Along with the warning the state government
had instructed that the devotees need not pay anything to have special worship.
This instruction seems to have been given with an intention of curtailing the
earnings of the Dikshidars, who live purely on the meager offerings of
devotees.  


 


The Solution:-



 

There are many
Judicial Precedents ensuring the autonomy, fundamental rights and freedom for
places of worship and hence the Dikshidars can approach the Court of Law,
preferably the Supreme Court, and get a permanent relief. The Hindu
organizations must help them, coordinating well and arranging expert legal
advisers and advocates, with the blessings and guidance of the Acharya Dharma
Sabha. This should be done immediately without wasting any more time. The anti-social elements will come out
hammers & tongues with their divisive agenda to spoil the prevalence of
peace & harmony. It would be wise and prudent on the part of the people of
Tamil Nadu to ignore such divisive forces with utmost contempt and stay united
in the service of God. Languages should be used to unite the people, but not to
divide them. The people must stay united and protect the culture and heritage
of our great civilization.


 

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