The persisting question of ‘music before mosques’
Police used force to disperse scores of members of Ganesh Festival committee including Hindu Munnani and BJP cadres who resorted to a road roko after officials denied them permission to play music while crossing a mosque during Vinayaka idol procession in Aruppukottai near Madurai on September 9. The police picked up 17 persons, including BJP functionary Vetrivel, in this connection. Over twenty idols were being taken on a procession for immersion in Periyakulam tank. The officials had already given instructions to the processionists that drumbeat should be suspended while crossing Mohideen Andavar Jumma Mosque. However, the processionists insisted on playing the drums and squatted on the road. As the protesters did not comply with the police orders, the police used force to disperse them. Later, the idols were taken to the tank by the police and immersed.
Devotees alert police on perceived evangelism
On September 9, Shanmugam, a car driver from Vellore, Tamilnadu, was seen rolling beads holding a Cross on the streets around the Tirupati temple atop Tirumalai. Devotees informed the police, as propagating other religions is prohibited there. He told the police that though he was a Hindu, he used to roll the beads daily in memory of his friend. On finding pictures of Hindu gods in his pocket, he was set free by the police. But devotees have not forgotten persistent efforts by evangelists to preach among Hindu devotees in Tirupati and how a Christian Vice Chancellor of the Venkateswara University, Tirupati, had replaced picture of Balaji in his office with that of Jesus.
Vivekananda and Thiruvalluvar to come closer
The Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar in mid sea off Kanyakumari coast will be linked by a 95 metre foot path at a height of 7 feet above sea level supported by 8 huge pillars. This will be done at a ccost of Rs 15 crores, so that tourists could visit both the spots even when the sea is rough. It is part of ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme of Union Tourism ministry, which had allotted Rs 100 crores to give facelift to tourism spots in Tamilnadu including Kanyakumari. Recently Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma visited Kanyakumari at the instance of Kanyakumari MP and Central Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. During the visit he announced the details of the scheme.