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Saving Tamil Nadu from Saint Jaya and Santa Karuna-2

Saving Tamil Nadu from Saint Jaya and Santa Karuna-2

Author: Thamizhchelvan
Publication: Vijayvaani.com
Date: January 2, 2011
URL: http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1567

Different stances; same play

Jayalalithaa openly flaunts her Hindu religious identity, goes to temples, performs homams and yagnyas, starts her election campaigns from temples, donates money to temples (once she donated an elephant to Guruvayur Temple) and consults astrologers. All this is done purely for selfish reasons to win elections or to capture power or not lose it. She doesn't invoke gods and goddesses for the interests of the State, but only for self interests. After celebrating Christmas in Kanyakumari, she visited the sacred shrine of Aiya Vaikundar, but refrained from making any commitments to Hindus. Though she was once expected to serve the cause of Tamil Hindus, she made an about turn after her rout in 2004 general elections, and has since been blatantly anti-Hindu, pandering to minorities.

Karunanidhi is an overt atheist (but covert believer) and never hesitates to question, insult and make fun of Hindu gods and goddesses, Hindu religious traditions and Hindu cultural heritage. He never wishes Hindus on their festivals and auspicious days, but never forgets to wish the minorities during their festivals and never fails to join them in their celebrations.

Even as Jaya ridicules Karuna for heading a minority government with the support of the Congress, Karuna retorts that his is indeed a Minority Government as it strives for the welfare of "minorities" (read Christians and Muslims). Even when she was heading a majority government, Jaya did not do anything exclusive for the majority community, but did damage it exclusively.

While opposing Karuna's Sethusamudram Project, Jaya took care to oppose it on grounds of viability, economics and environment and certainly not for protection of Rama Setu. When the Rama Setu Protection Movement was at its peak, she spoke against the Sethusamudram Project, not with true faith in Sri Rama, but with an eye on the votebank by exhibiting her 'secular' credentials by claiming that 'Adams Bridge' (Ramar Setu) was significant to Muslims and Christians as well, a myth which no Christian or Muslim scholar has so far endorsed! Her 2009 manifesto made only a passing mention of Rama Setu!

When Karuna brought the Change of Tamil New Year Ordinance in the assembly, her party allowed the unanimous passage of the ordinance. But as Tamil Hindus rejected the new law with utmost contempt and continued with their traditional Tamil New Year celebrations, Jaya TV shamelessly utilized it for scoring points over the DMK government. But till date, she has not said she would repeal the law and revert back to the old traditional system of celebrating Tamil New Year if voted back to power.

Similarly with the Chidambaram Temple case. Jaya has maintained deafening silence, thereby endorsing the DMK government's illegal usurping of the temple from the micro minority community of Dikshidars.

The government, based on Prime Minister's 15 point program and recommendations of the Rajinder Sachar Committee, has been giving educational scholarships (from elementary school level to research scholar level) to the tune of thousands of crores only for minorities (read Christians and Muslims), but not a penny for Hindu students from poor and downtrodden families. TN BJP President Pon Radhakrishnan, from the day he took charge, has been travelling all over the state conducting rallies and addressing meetings highlighting the blatant discrimination against the Hindu majority. The massive rally in Kanyakumari was phenomenal, attended by millions of Hindus, forcing the otherwise hostile vernacular and mainstream media to report the event.

Despite this show of strength by the Hindus, both Karuna and Jaya didn't bother to commit for the cause of poor Hindu students and Jaya even had the audacity to visit Kanyakumari, worship at Aiya Vaikundar Shrine and get back without making any announcement on this issue. When both leaders can promise reservation benefits for Dalit Christians, why can't they spare a word for poor Hindu students? While the former is "unconstitutional", the later is within the framework of the constitution and law of the land. Yet both leaders are prepared to ignore the genuine interests of the majority community and serve the illegal demands of the minorities. Both literally crawl at the feet of minorities even before they are asked to bend, but when Hindus cry for a glance, they show their back and insult the majority.

The point of convergence

The two parties have been alternatively ruling the state since 1967. During every election the state has witnessed trading of charges on crime, corruption, nepotism, etc., etc., between the two parties. They will spell out various charges like lack of governance, abuse of power, misappropriation of funds, favouritism, corruption, etc., against each other, in almost all departments of government.

But, there is one and only one department where they do not point fingers at each other - the point of convergence - w ere they collude for combined loot. This department is a treasure trove - the Hindu Religious & Cultural Endowment Department, HR&CE. The Tamil Hindus have never seen any kind of corruption charges by either party against the other regarding the administration of over 30,000 temples in the state controlled by HR&CE.

The government doesn't even have the exact number of temples which fall under the purview of HR&CE. Different figures have been given on different forums for the last 43 years. It seems there is no proper record of the details of movable and immovable assets of each temple since the inception of HR&CE Department. Many are allegedly looted; many sold at throwaway prices; there is no proper track on collection of rents from the tenants of lands and buildings owned by the temples.

It is not clear if there is a proper account of the huge amount of jewels and ornaments belonging to the deities of these thousands of temples, many of them more than 1000 and 2000 years old. There seems to be no auditing system of accounts, revenue and expenditure. Reliable sources say that the external auditing of the department has been done away with since 1985.

Though the temples bring in huge revenue, their periodical consecrations are done by funds raised from the public and money donated by philanthropists. Sources in the Information Commission said an attempt was made by the present DMK government to remove the HR&CE Department from the purview of the RTI Act; it was thwarted by the Central Information Commission.

Despite the huge revenue, thousands of temples are left unattended in dilapidated conditions. The poor priests are not properly paid and taken care of. The "Village Temple Pujaris Forum" (Grama Kovil Pujaarigal Peravai) has planned a massive protest rally on January 21 demanding the fulfillment of their long pending demands. The huge revenue from the temples, which is "100% Hindu Money", is not spent completely and exclusively on Temples and Hindu causes. A large portion is allegedly spent for the welfare of minorities and even civil governance. Both minority communities are allowed to build their worshipping places in close vicinity of Temples resulting in blatant conversion activities. It is alleged that in some places even temple lands are allotted to minority institutions!

Present state of Tamil Hindus

Tamil Hindus are caught between the Devil and the Deep Sea. The second rung leaders in both DMK and AIADMK, most of them Hindus, are self-centered and do not bother about Hindu causes; the cadres are largely ignorant and do not have any idea about the serious crisis of Hinduism in Tamil Nadu; the general public is highly religious but engulfed by Dravidian Maya! The Hindu Samaj badly needs a smart and intelligent leadership with mass appeal. The dearth in Hindu leadership is a great cause for concern.

It is pathetic to see the TN BJP making the same mistakes committed by Congress for the last forty three years, of riding piggy back with any one of the two major Dravidian parties. Like Congress, BJP is also riddled with factionalism.

Despite her outrageous assault on Hinduism, the party made a brazen attempt to forge an alliance with Jaya in the 2009 general elections. Even now it is waiting to join the AIADMK-led front by saying that the need of the hour is to defeat the DMK… but sailing with the opposition will not help the party grow.

Actor Vijayakanth, who plunged into politics four years ago, gained entry into the Assembly on his own (without any alliance) and holds a vote share of 10%. But the main opposition party at the national level has not even 2% vote share in the state! When Vajpayee was Prime Minister, the party had five Parliament seats and four or five Assembly seats, of course with DMK support. But as there was no effort to sustain the base, the party lost everything and at present has no seat either in Parliament or Assembly.

BJP has not made wholehearted efforts to capture people's attention. Ignoring the Tamil New Year issue is a crime; same with Chidambaram Temple issue. In its two decade existence, the party has not spoken on the issue of government control of temples. When dreaded terrorist Abdul Madhani was acquitted, the DMK government preferred not to appeal against it. The BJP could have forced the government to go for appeal or taken up the case on its own. When the Tamil electronic media was been blatantly anti-Hindu and Chennai Doordarshan aired several evangelical programs, BJP should have organized statewide protest demonstrations. As hundreds of street temples were demolished, the party should have saved at least a few dozen instead of silently watching the demolitions.

The party can gain a place in the minds and hearts of the people only when it takes up their causes. This simple fact has dawned on it now, as evidenced by Pon Radhakrishnan's consistent efforts to create awareness on the educational scholarship issue. This is a very important issue and the party must ensure that Pon Radhakrishnan's Rath Yatra is a grand success. Then there are other issues like Spectrum, demolition of temples, minority appeasement, Tamil New Year (coincides with the election timing), etc.
Name any issue of importance, whether Rama Setu or Chidambaram Temple or Spectrum, Dr. Subramanian Swamy in his individual capacity has done more than the BJP as a party. BJP and Janata Party ably supported by RSS, VHP and Hindu Munnani can definitely gain people's attention and jointly make an Assembly presence with at least ten seats. A sustained Hindutva movement will bring good results in the long run.

Defeating Karuna or joining Jaya is not the need of the hour. A sustained Hindutva Movement is the need of the hour. That alone will save Tamil Nadu.

- The author is a senior journalist


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