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Another Attack On A Saivaite Tradition And Annamalai Comes To The Defence

Author: Aravindan Neelakandan
Publication: Swarajyamag.com
Date: May 4, 2022
URL:      https://swarajyamag.com/culture/another-attack-on-a-saivaite-tradition-and-annamalai-comes-to-the-defence

Tamil Nadu BJP leader K Annamalai comes to the defence of a Saivaite tradition after the DMK government refuses permission to hold ‘Pattina Pravesam’.

In a latest, calculated attack on Saivaite traditions, the Mayiladuthurai Collectorate in Tamil Nadu has refused permission to hold ‘Pattina Pravesam’ a traditional practice where devotees carry the Adheena Karthar (roughly the pontiff) of the Dharmapuram Adheenam seated in a palanquin.

Many suspect a sinister, anti-Hindu political motive behind this move. The highly respected Dharmapuram Adheenam has been at the forefront of defending the Vedic Saiva Dharma in Tamil Nadu.

In the 1980s, when an obscene theory of Saivism, derived from Christianity, was floated, Dharmapuram Adheenam took it upon itself to systematically demolish this fake narrative.

With its farsightedness and courage, the Adheenam has constantly stood up to the interference of linguistic chauvinism in the sacred rituals of Saiva temples.

The Adheenam, which is known for its substantial contribution to the revival and renaissance of classic Tamil standing against the crypto-Christian forces in their grand design of appropriation of Saiva Dharma, is a major obstacle for the 'Breaking India' forces.

Two weeks ago, the 27th and the present Guru Maha Sannithanam, Shri Masilamani Desiga Gnanasambandha Swamigal invited the Governor of Tamil Nadu for the inauguration of Swamigal's 10-day 'Gnana Ratha Yatra’ to several pilgrimage sites.

The anti-Hindu forces which included Dravidar Kazhagam, political parties such as VCK and CPI(M), which are part of the ruling alliance, and the Luddite Anti Methane Project Movement brazenly threatened the Adheenam over this move. But the Adheenam unmindful of such rabid voices went ahead and invited the Governor. There were protests when Governor arrived which were narrowly stopped from turning ugly.

Then on 27th, 11 Hindu religious leaders including Dharmapuram Adheenam were invited by the Chief Minister reportedly for consultation.

His Holiness Dharmapuram Adheenam graciously answered in affirmative to a question regarding the statement of a DMK minister that the present rule in Tamil Nadu is a spiritual rule.

At the same time, the Adheenam also stated that the government is functioning as per their policies and the Adheenams are functioning as per theirs, implying that there is no need for confrontation.

It is soon after these series of events that this particular attack occurred. Saivaites throughout the state have been terribly shocked by this ban on the Pattina Pravesam event.

The 293rd Guru Mahasanithanam of Madurai Adheenam Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Jnana Sambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal has expressed his extreme pain at the way a tradition has been stopped. He also expressed his doubts if this was a kind of vengeful deed for the Dharmapuram Adheenam inviting the Governor.

In order to rectify this 'foul' deed, he wanted the Chief Minister himself to come and conduct the Pattina Pravesam. In an emotional statement of anguish and pain, the Madurai pontiff further stated that even if he were to get killed for defying the ban, he himself would come and carry the palanquin on his own shoulders.

The young leader of Tamil Nadu BJP, K Annamalai, who is in Sri Lanka came out strongly in support of Dharmapuram Adheenam and attacked the state government for this ban.

In a series of tweets, he stated that he himself would come and carry the palanquin on his own shoulders. Many fence-sitting Saivaites in Tamil Nadu have expressed their gratitude for the principled stand taken by Annamalai.
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K.Annamalai @annamalai_k

Ban on Dharmapura Adheenam’s centuries old ‘Pattina Pravesham’ is an affront to T N’s civilisational culture

I’ll be personally there to carry the Adhinam on Palanquin on my shoulders

We will request the Adhinam to allow us to conduct the event by overturning this illegal order
Image

May 4, 2022

The Dharmapuram Adheenam, because of his spiritual magnanimity, may adopt a non-confrontational stand as of now; though this attack is not against the individual but against Dharma.

But surely this is going to cost heavily in terms of goodwill and votes for the ruling party. Many political observers also feel that this may also serve as a warning to Hindus all over India as to where the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) stands with respect to Hindu traditions (DMK is a part of the UPA).

In fact, the Congress after Sonia Gandhi took over has shown strong ideological solidarity with the DMK. The state unit chief of Congress had even declared once that they would "destroy Sanatana Dharma".
 
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Author: Alka Dhupkar
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 2, 2022
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/loudspeaker-lessons-for-india-from-a-maharashtra-village/articleshow/91259002.cms

The villagers of Barad have passed a resolution to stop the use of loudspeakers

Barad shows that strong-arm tactics are not needed to curb noise pollution; a simple matter of sitting across a table and discussing can do wonders

Barad is a biggish village in Nanded district of Maharashtra with a population of around 15,000. It is roughly 20km from Nanded city. Over time, the village has prospered and places of worship, among other buildings, have been renovated.

The village has 15 religious places — 12 Hindu temples and a place of worship each for Buddhist, Jain and Muslim communities. In some neighbourhoods, these religious places are in close proximity. No problem there.

It was only when these places started using loudspeakers to broadcast sermons, aartis and bhajans that the problem started. It became a veritable Tower of Babel — all noise and confusion.

“Since five in the morning, we used to play songs. In some places, one couldn’t hear the other’s songs or for that matter what was played in our temple,” says Suresh Deshmukh, a trustee of the local Hanuman temple.

For days on end, farmer Sharad Kawle’s 80-year-old grandmother couldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of the rampant use of loudspeakers in the village.

But all this is in the past now. In charged times like these, Barad stands out as a model of communal harmony. Back in 2018, the villagers unanimously decided to remove loudspeakers from all religious places.

So, what happened in 2018?

According to deputy sarpanch Balasaheb Shankarao Deshmukh, sometime in December 2017, a Ganesh temple was using loudspeakers to broadcast maha aarti and a Buddha vihar nearby was playing religious songs. This went on till late at night.

“Groups from both sides started raising voices against each other, asking that the volume be lowered. Harmony in the village was completely disturbed,” he says. “Somehow we managed to cool tempers, but the tension simmered.”

But this wasn’t the only incident. A local school kept complaining about noise pollution to the Shiva temple trust and others in their area. The students couldn’t concentrate on studies because there was a kind of competition in using loudspeakers till late night and early mornings among all the religions.

The villagers were fed up. Some of them met after the tension escalated between Buddha and Ganpati followers. During a meeting with the local police, they discussed the proposal of removing all loudspeakers.

Thereafter, the villagers held a meeting with all the religious groups separately. Everybody accepted that the use of loudspeakers was a cause for concern and social discord. The religious trusts said if it was mandatory for all religious groups then they would also stop using loudspeakers.

After the consultations, a special gram sabha was called and a unanimous resolution was passed.

The villagers agreed to use sound boxes instead of loudspeakers. The only caveat: the volume of the sound box should be maintained at a pre-mandated level so the sound does not go beyond the walls of the holy place.

The gram panchayat has already installed around 40 small sound boxes for local announcements such as deaths, vaccination or other government programmes.

After the noise, peace

Yogesh Ratnparakhi, who runs Om Sai Coaching Classes in Barad, says, “In my centre, there are around 100 students and I can’t tell you how happy we all are that the loudspeakers have finally stopped. Earlier, students would use unending noise as an excuse not to study. Now, they properly focus on studies.”

Kiran Mahajan, a trustee of Chandra Prabhu Digambar Jain temple, says, “Ours is a private temple that is open to the public. We too had installed a loudspeaker because others installed it too. But after the removal of loudspeakers, we didn’t lose any devotees. Loudspeakers actually don’t matter.”

Sharad Kawle, the farmer, says, “Many of us in this village are followers of the Varkari bhakti movement. I believe that your religious activity should not disturb others. Keep it personal, so we all supported this proposal.”

His views are echoed by Sardar Sattar Khan Pathan of Jama Masjid in Barad. “We respect festivals of all communities. The kind of communal harmony we have maintained would not have been possible with loudspeakers at each religious place in the village.”

According to Vasant Lalme, a trustee of the Shiva temple, loudspeakers are not essential for singing bhajans or kirtans. “Devotion is a very personal feeling. It can be attained without loudspeakers. We have proved it.”

Model village

Deputy sarpanch Deshmukh, however, is disappointed that his village has not been given due recognition for the innovative solution to the menace of unchecked loudspeakers. The village doesn’t encourage the use of loudspeakers even for political rallies, weddings or other celebrations.

In other ways, too, Barad can be touted as a model village. It has received state awards for cleanliness and drinking water distribution management, open defecation-free status, success of ‘tanta mukti’ yojana (a scheme to clear local disputes at the village level) and other achievements.

The village has 20 CCTV cameras, which have helped curb theft, sexual harassment and other crimes. The village has developed a proper watershed system; a dormitory near a rural hospital is a unique feature of the village. It has also built a hostel for girl students, it has a zilla parishad school, multiple anganwadis, among other facilities.

As the noise over the use of loudspeakers at religious places grows louder and various state governments are using strong-arm tactics, perhaps it is Barad’s use of consultation that stands out more than its other achievements.