G.O. opens Kanaga Sabhai darshan to all

Sources said the additional collector warned of severe action if the order was not honoured.

Published: 20th May 2022 05:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2022 05:22 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CUDDALORE/CHENNAI: The practice of devotees having darshan from the Kanaga Sabhai (Tiruchitrambala Medai) in the Sri Nataraja temple in Chidambaram resumed on Thursday in the presence of a large posse of police personnel, following a G.O. from the State government, amid opposition from the Dikshithars who manage the temple.

The order was issued after the HR&CE commissioner, based on a report from the Cuddalore district Collector, recommended that the practice of worshipping the presiding deity from Kanaga Sabhai be restored.

The practice of devotees having darshan from Kanaga Sabhai was restricted during the pandemic. Even after the government lifted restrictions, the Dikshitars objected to resuming the practice. As various organisations staged protests, a writ petition was filed before the Madras High Court seeking for the practice to be resumed and the court directed the government to take a decision by April 20.

On Thursday, Cuddalore district additional collector Ranjeet Singh held a meeting at Chidambaram Revenue Divisional Office with representatives of the Dikshithars, who opposed the G.O. Sources said the additional collector warned of severe action if the order was not honoured.

The Dikshithars’ lawyer, G Chandrasekhar, also issued a notice to revenue officials expressing their opposition and stating the order had been issued without consulting them. This was a violation of the Supreme Court verdict, the notice claimed.

Later in the day, a section of devotees, including Makkal Athigaram’s general secretary C Raju, who entered the temple to have darshan at the Kanaga Sabhai, alleged that during darshan, the Dikshithars did not perform Aarti to the presiding deity while the police prevented them from singing Thevaram hymns although it was to be allowed. “By failing to perform Aarti, the Dikshithars not only insulted the devotees but also Lord Nataraja,” charged Raju.

Devotees also urged the Tamil Nadu government to take over the temple and appoint an executive officer to manage its affairs so they could have darshan without any police protection.(With inputs from T Muruganantham)


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