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Chennai Sandesh
April 12, 2013

Erode Hindus Demand “Throw Out The CSI”; 700 Women Devotees Court Arrest 

It is the 15 acres of land in the heart of Erode, a district headquarters in Tamilnadu, usurped by the Church of South India (CSI), that hit the headlines once again. It belongs to the ancient Periya Mariamman temple, according to the 'Movement for Retrieving Periya Mariyamman Temple Land' comprising devotees of a Kali temple centrally located in the bustling commercial town. The Movement organised a Pongal (cooking rice Prasad) programme in front of the temple on April 4 , 2013 to demand the government to throw out the illegal occupants of the temple land, the CSI in this case. 700 women devotees tried to perform the pongal programme on the road in front of the temple and were arrested by the police. Thus the Hindus justified their demand for the temple land. The Movement is in fact a three year old struggle. (More than 3,000 women and members of the Movement took out a massive procession with lamps at Erode on February 15, 2013, urging the State government to initiate immediate efforts to retrieve the lands belonging to the temple from encroachers. A large number of women from different parts of the town gathered on the Eshwaran temple premises and lit the lamps before carrying them in a procession, which culminated on the Periya Mariamman temple premises. A unique Bandh that was total and without any untoward incidents was held on May 28, 2010 at Erode by the Movement pressing the same demand).

 ABGP Tamilnadu Scores A Victory Again: Ration Shops To Function On Sundays

Gentle persuasion for over a year at the Ministry level and the sound logic in the presentation of Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat’s Chennai unit helped a valid demand of consumers of Tamilnadu being accepted by the state government. That is how the 1st and 2nd Sunday of every month were declared working days for all the Ration Shops in the state by Food Minister R. Kamaraj during the ongoing State Assembly session. In any family, a Sunday is when all employed members have holiday and so would find sufficient time to visit the Ration Shop, if open on Sunday. (Last month ABGP Tamilnadu effectively stopped loot by Railway Board which charged Sleeper fare for a daytime Express from unsuspecting passengers!)

Will Jaya Heed the Spineless CPI That Eyes Hindu Temple Properties? 

Even while the decades old demand for strict measures to collect rent dues from tenants of buildings owned by Hindu Temples and fazal dues from cultivators of Temple lands gains momentum, a delegation of the Communist Party of India (CPI) led by its state unit secretary  Tha. Pandian met Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha on April 4, 2013, and put forth a demand that instead of levying rent, the government should  issue pattas to the tenants of Temple buildings and temple lands. In effect, that would render Hindu temple worship prohibitive. Resentment of Hindus to this nefarious attempt of Communists was expressed by Ram Gopalan, founder of Hindu Munnani, in a statement which laid bare the Communists’ spineless bravado. “The Communists would never dare to demand that Church properties and Waqf properties be handed over to individuals. But they make empty noise while demanding Hindu Temple properties be made over to tenants. The buildings and lands were donated centuries ago by devotees specifically for the upkeep of temple rituals and festivals and it would be a travesty of trust if the Temple properties are mindlessly frittered away,” Ram Gopalan pointed out. He insisted that the CM should reject the CPI demand outright. His pertinent poser was: would the cash rich CPI give away its crores to the needy?  

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