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Monday, December 5, 2011



Temple, not Court, is Supreme in Bharat
By B. R. Haran
Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shame on us! I mean, shame on Hindus! Something outrageous has been
happening since the first of this month in one of the most sacred
places on our bhumi, and we, sons of this bhumi, are shamelessly
watching the sacrilege without an iota of fury. The Supreme Court of
India, which is just 60 years old, has constituted a seven member
committee to take inventory of the centuries-old treasures kept
safely inside secret vaults of the famous Padmanabha Swamy Temple in

Why? Because, a small time advocate filed a case against so-called
mismanagement of the temple by the Travancore Royal Family.

Before going into details, let us go to the origin of this case. It
all started like this:

Maharaja of Travancore Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma wanted to
fulfill his ancestor's (Swathi Thirunal) wish of gold plating of the
Artha Mandapam in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. As sufficient gold
could not be procured, R. Sashidaran, an executive in the
administration of the temple, released a circular dated 2 August
2007, in the name of Marthanda Varma, permitting opening of the
secret vaults.

Advocate T. K. Ananthapadmanaban challenged the circular and
approached the court. The Trivandrum Sessions Court ruled that the
existing management had no legal claim to administer the temple and
asked the state government to take over the administration of the
temple. On 31 January, the Kerala High Court upheld the lower court's
order that the state government must take over the temple.

The Royal Family was outraged and a member, Rama Varma, challenged
the order, after which the dispute went to the Supreme Court. After
staying the High Court order asking the state government to take over
the temple, the Supreme Court constituted a seven member committee to
take inventory of the "treasures" inside the temple, on the basis of
a petition filed by another Advocate T.P. Sundararajan.

Now let us leave Trivandrum/Delhi and go to Chennai.
On 25 May 2010, the Chennai Corporation demolished a Devi (Selli
Amman) Temple on First Avenue, Shastri Nagar, Adayar, in the name of
clearing unauthorized encroachments. After razing the temple to dust
with a bulldozer, the authorities advanced towards the Srinivasaswamy
Temple located some 100 yards from Selli Amman temple. Fortunately,
local citizens thwarted this attempt before the authorities could
complete their evil job.

Next morning, a Fish stall and a Mutton stall, owned by minority
communities, sprung up exactly at the spot where the Selli Amman
temple stood! When concerned citizens approached the corporation
authorities to remove the stalls, they were treated with contempt.

Five months later, the corporation officials came again to demolish
the Srinivasa Temple on 16 October, the sacred day of Saraswati
Pooja. Outraged by this arrogance, well known writer and activist
Radha Rajan filed a Writ Petition at the Madras High Court, praying
for stay of demolition of Srinivasaswamy temple and removal of the
fish stalls from the said place.

The "Honourable" Bench of the Madras High Court refused to stay the
demolition, but ordered removal of the fish stall. But before doing
so, the "Honourable" Bench had the "intelligence" to ask Radha Rajan
the golden question in any court of law, "What is your locus standi?"

Now, let us get back to Supreme Court, Delhi:
The law of the land is NOT supposed to be different for a Temple or a
Church or a Mosque!

What is applicable to Selli Amman Temple is applicable to Velankanni
Church and Thousand Lights Mosque -- or should be. So if Selli Amman
Temple could be demolished for illegal encroachment, the same should
have happened to Besant Nagar Church and Thousand Lights Mosque which
have also illegally encroached corporation lands. But, it never
happened! That's "Indian Secularism" for you!

Similarly, the law of the land should NOT be different for Radha
Rajan and Sundararajan! What is applicable to Radha Rajan should be
applicable to Sundararajan. Is it not?

Sorry readers, it is not! That is what we can infer from the Supreme
Court order!

The "Honourable" Madras High Court with a sadistic smile said
straight to Radha Rajan's face, "Removing a fish stall is easier than
removing a temple" and asked with temerity, "What is your locus

What for? To remove a fish stall run by a Christian from the site
where a Hindu temple existed for years until it was callously
uprooted? (Ironically showing scant regard to the High Court's order
[read contempt], the Christian reinstalled his fish stall within days
of the judgment! The corporation of course allowed it.)

The "Honorable" Supreme Court never felt any compunction in ordering
the opening of the secret vaults of the centuries-old Padmanabha
Swamy Temple. Nor did it ask petitioner Sundararajan, "What is your
locus standi?"

What is involved here is not a few thousand rupees worth of fish
stall, but an ancient temple of immeasurable sanctity and wealth of
unknown value.

In both the courts, it is the "Hindu" who has been at the receiving
end of Justice (sic). That is "Indian Justice" for Hindus -- based
not on Law -- but on "Indian Secularism"!

The Presiding Deity of a Temple is the owner of the concerned temple
and whatever is present within the premises belongs to Him. The
Presiding Deity is also a juridical person as confirmed in the recent
Allahabad High Court's Ayodhya Verdict which confirmed that Shri Ram
as owner of His place of birth. In another case related to Ayodhya,
the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court confirmed that a Temple
belongs to its Presiding Deity, which is believed and recognized as
actually living inside the temple.

In the light of these facts, the Supreme Court should have asserted
that Bhagwan Padmanabha Swamy is Presiding Deity of the temple, its
owner, and everything inside the temple premises belongs to Him. It
should have outright dismissed the petition filed by the petitioners.
At the very least it should have waited for the outcome of the
Chidambaram Natarajar Temple case, which is pending before the very
same apex Court.

Instead, the "Honourable" Supreme Court preferred to entertain the
petition without even going into the antecedents of the petitioners
and determining if there was any prima facie evidence in the
allegations made in the petition regarding so-called mismanagement by
the Royal Family.

When devotees and general public have no grievances with the
management and the Royal Family, the Courts should have refrained
from going to the extent of forcing open the secret chambers. The
Supreme Court could have solved the case without ordering this

Was the Supreme Court's order really sacrilegious? Yes, of course!
As Hindus we do not worship the deity alone; we worship the entire
temple; the Temple Tower; the Dwajasthambam; the Bali Peetam; the
walls; the pillars; the Temple Tank (Theertham); the Temple's Tree
(Sthala Viruskham); the ornaments worn by the deity; the clothes worn
by the deity; ultimately we worship everything inside the temple
premises! The entire Temple is sacred for us!

Neither the government nor the court has any business to meddle with
the things belonging to the Deity. Ordering the opening of the secret
chambers was uncalled for, and this sacrilege has been committed to
satisfy a frivolous petition.

By this order the Supreme Court has opened a can of worms.
First, a closely guarded secret has been made known to the entire
world in a very cavalier fashion. Second, the temple's security has
come under permanent peril. Third, anti-Hindu forces have started
demanding inventorying the wealth of all major temples, as if they
have a rightful claim to it. Fourth, the religious sentiments
protected by the Constitution have been mauled and will continue to
hurt. Finally, the apex Court has set a bad precedent and if it does
not reconsider this path, the consequences will be dangerous for
communal harmony in the country.

If one can file a case against an ancient historic temple making
flimsy allegations and get one's petition admitted by the Supreme
Court and receive a favourable order, then a petition with
irrefutable evidences must certainly be admitted, heard and given a
favourable order.

Here are just two cases for the readers' attention.
The first is about Santhome Cathedral, Mylapore, Chennai. History has
enough proofs that Santhome Cathedral was built on the ruins of
Mylapore Shiva Temple. When the Portuguese invaded the Indian coast,
they also landed in Madras, destroyed the magnificent Kapaleeshwarar
Temple and built Santhome Cathedral over its ruins. They looted the
entire wealth of the temple, and the present day Kapaleeshwarar
Temple is a latter-day construction.

Until recently, many people are believed to have seen ancient stone
carvings, stone walls and even pillars with Hindu signs inside the
Bascilla. But it is learnt that the Mylapore Archdiocese destroyed
the remaining evidences indicating the presence of a Shiva Temple
underneath the Cathedral. In fact, the Church is peddling the
nonsensical theory of a Saint Thomas who came to India, in cohorts
with a conniving media. School children have been fed with this
farcical story as "history" for years!

This writer and lakhs of Hindus firmly believe the Church was built
on the ruins of a Shiva temple after demolishing it, and that despite
the destruction by Church authorities, evidences will remain of the
existence of an ancient temple. This writer believes the Church
authorities could have hidden a portion of the looted Temple wealth
in secret vaults inside the church.

Now, will the Supreme Court order an investigation by Archaeological
Survey of India, first to ascertain the presence of an ancient Shiva
Temple, and second, to take a complete inventory of the wealth inside
the Church? If a petition is filed showing historical evidences, will
the "Honourable" Supreme Court dare entertain it and issue a similar
order as given against the Travancore Temple, or will it revert to
its secular style of asking, "What is your locus standi?"

The second case pertains to "Amir Mahal", the palace of the "Prince"
of Arcot in Royapettah, Chennai. The Nawabdom was established by
Aurangzeb and the Nawabs ruled the Carnatic region from 1690 to 1850,
with their seat in Arcot. Their territory extended from Krishna River
to Coleroon and up to Madurai in the south. They looted many temples
and the Virinchipuram Shiva temple, with only one tower, near
Vellore, is standing testimony to the destruction caused by the Arcot

The Arcot Nawabs have usurped and looted all the territories and
wealth of the Hindus. At a later stage, they returned some lands and
tanks to the temples due to political compulsions, but claimed to
have "donated" these with magnanimity! The present "Prince" of Arcot
in Chennai has been peddling such outrageous stories at every
opportunity, as if his ancestors had donated their own hard-earned
wealth to Hindu temples. Who donates whose properties to whom, eh?

Mind you, when all Hindu Kings, true sons of this punya bhumi,
acceded their rightful kingdoms after independence with passion,
patriotism and magnanimity, and lived as ordinary citizens, the so-
called Princes of Arcot, descendents of invaders, enjoy all
privileges, including the title and tax-free pensions in perpetuity!
And they have the temerity to say they have donated a lot for the
wellbeing of Hindus!

This writer, like many other Hindus, strongly believes that "Amir
Mahal" Palace of the "Prince" of Arcot has many ancient hidden
treasures looted by his ancestors from Hindu temples. Once it was
even believed that there was an underground connection by means of a
tunnel, from Arcot to Amir Mahal.

So, will the Supreme Court constitute a committee to investigate Amir
Mahal and take an inventory of the wealth there? If a petition is
filed, showing historical evidences, will the "Honourable" Supreme
Court entertain it and issue a similar order as given against
Travancore Temple, or will it play the old 'secular' game and ask the
petitioner, "What is your locus standi?"

o When the Supreme Court has not bothered to ensure a "Common Civil

o When the Supreme Court has not nullified the HR & CE Act, which is
against the Constitution,

o When the Supreme Court has not brought Churches and Mosques under
the purview of Government Religious Endowments at par with Temples,

o When the Supreme Court has not put an end to subsidizing Haj

What is wrong in saying the Supreme Court has erred in the case of
Travancore Temple?

What is wrong in saying the Supreme Court had committed sacrilege?
What is wrong in saying the Supreme Court had hurt our religious

Shockingly, no Hindu organisation, ostensibly existing to defend the
Hindu dharm and the Hindu people from precisely such assaults from
the secular state and its soulless institutions, spoke ONE WORD in
defence of the Temple, the Deity, the Royal Guardians of the Temple,
nor dared condemn the Supreme Court Order. Only the Revered Kanchi
Acharya came out with a clear and categorical statement saying that
wealth belongs to Bhagwan and the Royal family is its custodians.

Handing over Bhagwan's wealth to the government, which is full of
corrupt elements and criminals, or keeping them in a government
museum, or using them for 'secular' expenditure which is anti-Hindu
in Indian parlance, is not at all acceptable. The status quo must be
maintained and the matter must be closed at once.

The Supreme Court must unequivocally declare that all temples in
India, in their entirety, belong to the respective Bhagwan, relieve
them from the government's stranglehold and handover their
administration to locally eminent and honourable bhaktas or Hindus
associations that have no foreign or minority representation in their

The author is a senior journalist
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