VSK Chennai Sandesh

Chennai Sandesh
9, December, 2013

Legal battle to thwart a Hindu temple take over by TN government

World famous Nataraja temple of Chidambaram, the home of the Nataraja icon symbolising Hindu culture, was recently taken over by the Tamilnadu government and it is being challenged by Podu Dikshitars in the Supreme Court. Quoting Article 26 of the Constitution “which guarantees right to establish and maintain institutions for religious purposes,” senior counsel R. Venkataramani, appearing for Podu Dikshitars, contended before a Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde, that `Podu Dikshitars’ the poojakas of Chidambaram Nataraja temple, were a religious denomination. As far as the right of Podu Dikshitars to administer the Natarajar temple as a distinct religious denomination was concerned, this right had been recognised by the Supreme Court in its judgment in 1952, he said. Venkataramani said the association of Podu Dikshitars with the temple was more than 2,000 years old and it could not be disputed that originally the task of offering worship and administering the temple was entrusted to Podu Dikshitars. Further neither the immovable properties granted for the temple benefit nor the Kattalais set up by private parties for performance of religious services were under Dikshitar's control, he argued. The failure if any in regard to administration of such properties could not be the reason for interfering with their right to continue with the maintenance of the temple, he said. It was the argument of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, one of the appellants that “Section 107 specifically bars the application of the Act to institutions coming under the purview of or enjoying the protection of Article 26 of the Constitution.” If there were allegations of misappropriation, it should be dealt with under the provisions of Indian Penal Code and not by taking over the temple administration, he argued. The bench reserved judgment.

Uncouth utterances of a Lankan MP about India

Last week, Suriyapperuma, a nominated MP of Sri Lanka Ruling Party, had the temerity to say that India is not a “giant” any more but a “bug” (binkunda). He was also mindless enough to run down Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an “old man” (nakiya) and a “fool”, who would soon be overthrown by the Indian people. He said all this at a Committee Stage debate of the Lankan Ministry of External Affairs. The Sunday Times noted that no ruling party member or minister, including the Minister of External Affairs G L Peiris, who were present at the time Suriyapperuma made these remarks, seemed to be perturbed. However, opposition United National Party (UNP) MP, Ravi Karunanayake said that “stupid statements” made by ruling party members were antagonising foreign countries. 

How a rural youth saved thousands of lives

S Vijay, the 17-year-old son of a Dharmapuri farmer, saved 15,000 people in his native village of Pikkili, and 17 other villages in the panchayat of the same name, in Dharmapuri district, from drinking toxic water. Vijay works for a firm that distributes water from a sump in Melkottai village to 18 villages in the panchayat. "I wasn't well on the morning of November 9, so my mother helped me get to the sump because I had to close the valve," Vijay says. "The smell was obnoxious near the sump." A laboratory confirmed that a highly toxic rodenticide had been mixed in the water. Losing no time, Vijay alerted the pump operator in Thirumalvadi village, asking him to stop distribution of water from the overhead tanks that received water from the sump. He also informed Pikkili panchayat president Vasuki Ayyappan about the alarming discovery by calling her husband, C Ayyappan. The 2 lakh litre sump, which receives water under the Hogennakkal Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project, supplies water to 11 overhead tanks for distribution to 18 villages. The warning came just in time: The tank operators were to start distribution to street pumps in just an hour. The panchayat resumed water supply only after the sump and overhead tanks were thoroughly cleaned. The panchayat has lodged a complaint with the Papparapatti police, seeking action against the culprits who poisoned the water. Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa honoured Vijay with a cash award of Rs 1 lakh.

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  2. Can we get the photo of Shri. Vijay who had saved the lives of so many people