Temple ideas

VCK and Dravidar Kazhagam oppose government’s grand celebration of Maha Sivarathri at Chennai Temple – Reuters

By Express press service

CHENNAI: The decision of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department to hold cultural events between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. at Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore here, on the occasion of Maha Sivarathri on March 1, has drawn criticism from the VCK and DK.

About 40,000 people are expected to attend the program, which will be held in Ramakrishna Mutt. This will be the first time that the HR&CE department has organized an event of such magnitude.

The VCK, an ally of the DMK, opposed the event, saying it amounts to promoting a religion. “The government department should not organize functions to promote the idea of ​​a particular faith. The government should not replicate the style followed by a godman or private institutions. Is this a Dravidian model?” asked VCK leader Vanni Arasu.

Echoing his view, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) General Secretary K Veeramani said that the responsibility of the HR&CE department is to oversee the administration of the temple and the maintenance of temple accounts. “The department should refrain from appeasing a particular community, hurting the feelings of rationalists and secularists. It should limit itself to the management of temples,” Veeramani said.

Reacting to the criticism, a state-level DMK official said on condition of anonymity, “This is a government event. The government function and party ideology are different. There is nothing wrong to such special programs of the HR&CE department”.

A few days ago, HR&CE Minister PK Sekar Babu and officials inspected the venue and gave an update on the arrangements of the scheme.

Officials from the department, Chennai Corporation, traffic police, transport and Metro Water held a coordination meeting on traffic diversions, parking and amenities such as drinking water, toilets, food and prasadam for devotees.

A large stage is being set up for artists to perform. Cultural events will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and continue until 6 a.m. on Wednesday.