TTSS felt that arrest of three employees reflected a startling evidence of the continuation of non-Hindu religious activities. When Christian propagation activities were exposed during 2005 in TTD’s educational and medical institutions, the government and political parties since have been making futile attempts to cover up their activities. Lamenting that this has been reflecting worsening conditions at Tirumala shrine, TTSS demanded that all non-Hindu employees from TTD and Hindu religious shrines in the state be shifted from the temple.
“TTSS has decided to organise a day-long dharna at Tirupati, in front of TTD administrative building on August 18, 2012 to protect the sanctity of Tirumala shrine and also to protest against Christian activities around the shrine,” a press release informed.
Meanwhile, the TTD administration has announced that from August 13, all non-Hindu devotees visiting Tirumala would be made to sign the declaration of faith. So far this rule is applicable only to the VIPs, as identifying people of other religions from lakhs of people visiting the temple daily would be impossible.
According to the TTD Joint Executive Officer K S Srinivasa Raju, non-Hindu pilgrims visiting the Tirumala shrine will have to sign a declaration form stating that he/she has faith in Hinduism. As per the GO MS No 311 of Revenue Endowment -1, Rule No 136, non-Hindus who had faith in Lord Venkateswara used to sign the declaration at the Vaikuntham Queue Complex stating that he/she had faith in Hinduism.
However, Hindu organisations are suspicious of the capability of the TTD administration to implement its decision of obtaining faith forms from all non-Hindu pilgrims. Sri Kamalakar Swamy of the TTPS said that the mandatory signature process will not help much as it’s very difficult to identify non-Hindus among the devotees who visit the temple. But in case of non-Hindu VIP devotees, he felt, it does help to maintain the sanctity of the temple.
Meanwhile, Swami Paripoornanada met the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on August 7, 2012 and demanded him to check non-Hindu religious activities at all Hindu shrines in the state. Recalling that the Government of Andhra Pradesh issued ordinance on May 24, 2007 due to pressures from Hindu organisations prohibiting propagation of religion in place of workshop or prayer other than the religion traditionally practiced at such places, he alleged that government is failing in implementing this enactment.
He asked why all the political parties in the state were silent towards non-Hindu religious activities at Hindu shrines and the incident of three TTD employees caught red-handedly in this regard. He demanded all the political parties should come out with a policy statement against religious conversions going on in the state and also other religious activities at Hindu shrines.
Allowing other religious activities at places of worship of one religion would result in communal clashes and also spread hatred among people of different communities, he warned. Swamiji wondered that even after his meeting, the Chief Minister failed to give assurance that the government would implement its own enactment preventing other religious activities at Hindu shrines.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments
View more jobs