HYDERABAD: The Yadagirigutta Temple Development Authority (YTDA) on Saturday decided to remove all the temple’s stone pillars bearing carvings of political leaders, including Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. This means that even pillars bearing carvings of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi will be removed.
“All pillars with carvings of political leaders and reflecting the contemporary times will be removed. Only images related to the god and religion will be allowed,” YTDA vice chairman and CEO G Kishan Rao told TNIE.
Special Secretary to the CM K Bhoopal Reddy told the YTDA officials that apart from images related to the god, nothing should be allowed in the temple. He expressed anger at the way illustrations of certain political leaders and party symbols were carved.
The decision comes close on the heels of protests by various political parties and right-wing groups, following reports regarding pillars in the temple bearing images of the CM’s face, the TRS party’s symbol (car), the government’s KCR Kits scheme, and insignia of the Telangana government with the Charminar in it.
YTDA officials had clarified on Friday night that sculptors of the temple have creative independence to carve images on pillars according to their will and that one of the sculptors carved pictures of the CM to convey his gratitude for sanctioning the construction of the temple.
They also pointed out that carving images on pillars in temples reflecting the contemporary times is an age-old tradition. As a result, some pillars had images of a car, cycle, scooter, rickshaw, and even a group of children playing cricket. However all these images will now be removed.