CHENNAI: In the wake of increasing idol thefts from abandoned temples, a temple restoration society had set up a stall at the ongoing Hindu Spiritual Fair calling for more attention on ancient temples.
According to members of the society, idols and inscriptions in several temples including those belonging to the 7th century AD have been destroyed in the name of renovation.
Unlike other states in the country, in Tamil Nadu ancient temples are preserved due to the continuous activity of building temples without changing their original character.
“But of late, temples which are more than 1000 years old, having sanctity, religion and culture associated with them are destroyed in the name of renovation,” bemoaned R Nagaswamy.
Inscriptions giving the virtual history of the temples are nothing but legal documents referring to gifts made to the temple (in the form of land, gold, service etc) and throwing more light on the art, music and philosophy associated with. “But these inscriptions are destroyed and to my knowledge, no civilised country in the world will tolerate this and we keep bragging about ‘glorious Tamil culture,” said Muralidharan from Temple Worshipers Society.
Despite Madras High Court repeatedly instructing officials from Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department to stay away from structures which are more than 100 years old, the society members alleged that they continued to disregard them.
Though the government norms clearly state that only structures which are damaged should be renovated, the society alleged that in several temples even those with no damage or minor repairs were thrown out making it easy of men like Deenadayalan (kingpin caught in idol wing racket recently) to loot them away.