THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPM has fielded the pro-LDF Travancore Devaswom Employees Confederation (TDEC) to counter the no-donation campaign that is eating into the revenue of TDB temples. The no-donation campaign is promoted by several devotees’ collectives and Sangh Parivar organisations in protest against the board’s stand in favour of lifting the age bar for women at Sabarimala temple.
While the TDB is suffering from a huge revenue loss owing to the campaign, officials are refusing to divulge details fearing further popularity for the campaign. “The drop in collection is in the range of 10 to 40 per cent. In several temples, collection boxes were filled with paper pieces with prayers,” sources in the board said.
They cited the Sarkara Devi temple as an example. In the latest opening of offering boxes at the shrine not a single currency of Rs 2,000 denomination was found. Thirty-six notes were received in the previous counting.
The CPM has asked the TDEC to defend the board and take devotees into confidence. TDEC office-bearer CN Raman said its was the organisation’s duty to defeat false campaigns that would affect the upkeep of temples and survival of the staff. “The no-donation campaign is intended to tarnish the image of the government and the board. It will not last for long,” he said.
Meanwhile, the pro-UDF Travancore Devaswom Board Employees Front and pro-BJP Employees Sangh have condemned the TDEC for justifying the board. “The TDEC should influence the board to take a stand favourable to the devotees. It is strange that they want the devotees abandon temple customs and beliefs,” said Rakesh, state general secretary of the Sangh.