Sree Padmanabha Swami temple, the landmark of Kerala’s capital city, is once again in the news, but this time is for wrong reasons. The Amicus Curie, Gopal Subrahmaniam, appointed by the Supreme Court has found that the members of the erstwhile Travancore royal family have swindled valuables from the temple and they have been mismanaging the temple assets for years. Now his report is with the Supreme Court for further action.
The report raked up a bitter controversy in the state and divided people virtually into two groups; for and against the royal family. Opposition leader of the state assembly and veteran CPI (M) leader V. S. Achuthanandan is the hero of the group against the royal family. He told reporters here that the findings of the Amicus Curie had proved that his allegations against the royal family were true. “The state government is supporting the royal family. So they can’t get away from the wrong doings of the royals” he added.
The supporters of the royal family argue that, the blanket attack on the family members is with ill motive and they couldn’t be blamed blindly. In their opinion, the royal family’s honesty is evident from the wealth found in the temple. “They have proved their honesty by keeping trillions worth valuables in the temple vaults. If they wanted to take it away, they would do it years ago” a sympathizer of royal family who doesn’t want to be named rues.
Anyway the majority believes that the temple wealth should be brought under an independent committee and the administration of the temple must be entrusted with the committee. They welcome the intervention of the apex court in this direction.
Sree Padmanabha Swami temple grabbed headlines for the first time in 2011 when massive treasure had been found in the secret chambers of the temple. The expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court evaluated the wealth and estimated the value of the treasure at around 1.2 trillion rupees. A trust formed by the members of the royal family runs the temple.