Christian CM Rajasekhara Reddy Plans to Demolish Part of Tirumala Temple
Posted March 10, 2006
Source: Deccan Chronicle, Feb 21 www.deccan.com
Varanasi and Tirumala are always on the hitlist of Christian evangelicals. Soon after assuming power as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy, himself a fundamentalist Christian appointed Christians and sold-out Hindus to the executive board of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD). Mr. Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy originally a street goon, whose father was killed in a gang-war has at least 4 family members heading south-India chapters of major American missionary organizations.
This evangelized TTD team now wants to demolish the original temple structure in the main temple in Tirumala and construct netra dwaralu (hatchways). Though the priests objected to this citing Agama Sastras and highlighted temple security mismanagement, the evangelized team is going ahead with its plan.
The same TTD team was responsible for destroying 1000 pillar structure and allowing 7 churches to be built on 7 hills.
Senior archakas and Agama Sastra pundits are up in arms against the proposal of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to demolish the original temple structure in the main temple in Tirumala and construct netra dwaralu (hatchways) to relax the movement of pilgrims. TTD top brass seem to be determined to go ahead with the proposal despite the suggestions of Agama Sastra Advisory Committee, the top body where the Agama is concerned. The committee has voiced its opinion against the netra dwaralu twice at TTD trust board meetings.
Sources say the firm stance of the TTD officials comes after the laxity of the official machinery was exp-osed when a new team took charge. Recent incident like stampedes and over-crowding inside the temple were blamed on lack of proper planning.
The officials feel that the netra dwaralu are the only way to prevent bottlenecks in the queues, which are imminent especially during the Maha Laghu darshan (shortcut darshan). The pilgrims get stagnated at Vendi Vakili since this same door is used for both entry and exit.
The question that arises is why this arrangement has become necessary when the previous arrangements had raised no inconvenience. "The netra dwaralu is just a means of covering up the failure of the officials," said a priest on the condition of anonymity.
The issue has been burning for the past four months and the TTD officials made a bid to prove their point by involving Mr Subrahmanyam, the TTD chief security advisor. He inspected the temple and while leaving said that the netra dwaralu were a must despite what the pundits thought.
Mr Subrahmanyam opined that Vaastu and Agama Sastras are man-made and can be altered. Though the Agama pundits refuted his statement, his comment added fuel to the fire.