Monday, July 22, 2024

Temple Bribery Scandal Rocks Thiruvottiyur: Congress Corporator Accused of Hindering Renovation Project

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The residents of Thiruvottiyur, a neighbourhood in Chennai, have accused Samuel Dhiraviyam, a Congress corporator, of corrupt practices. They claim that he demanded bribes to grant permission for the renovation and construction work at a local temple dedicated to Shakthi Vinayagar. This temple holds great religious significance for the people of Ward 6 in Thiruvottiyur.

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Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments

The residents had collectively pooled their resources to fund the temple’s renovation project. However, instead of supporting their efforts through voluntary assistance or financial contributions, Samuel Dhiraviyam allegedly exploited his position as a corporator and demanded bribes from those involved in the project. The report states that he even sent his aides to pressure the Hindus working on the temple’s renovation to pay bribes to proceed with the work.

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When the residents refused to comply with his illicit demands for payments, they claim that Samuel Dhiraviyam, with the help of corrupt officials within the corporation, deliberately disrupted the ongoing construction work.

Undertaking renovation projects in temples under the jurisdiction of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) requires governmental permission.

This system aims to safeguard the historical structures and inscriptions of age-old temples during renovations. However, a few months ago, authorities caught a retired archaeologist, who was a member of the HRCE-appointed committee, soliciting bribes to grant permission for renovating government-controlled temples.

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Temple Bribery Demands

The HRCE committee’s purpose is to guide temple managements in preserving architectural integrity and historical artifacts during renovation projects. Shockingly, Moortheeswari, an archaeology expert and committee member, demanded a bribe of Rs 10 lakhs in exchange for an inspection report allowing the renovation of a non-government-controlled temple.

These incidents highlight the pervasive corruption within the HRCE and its detrimental impact on temples under its jurisdiction. While temples under HRCE suffer from financial difficulties due to corruption, privately managed temples also face harassment from individuals seeking personal gain. It is disheartening to witness a government department responsible for protecting temples contributing to their disruption and mismanagement.

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Hindu Hate

Moreover, the DMK government, known for its antagonistic stance towards the Hindu community, targets Hindus involved in temple causes by filing frivolous charges. Karthik Gopinath was imprisoned for his efforts to raise funds for renovating a temple. It was vandalized by a mentally unstable individual. Karthik is a YouTuber and his case exemplifies the matter.

These ongoing struggles faced by the Hindus in Thiruvottiyur. Similar incidents underscore the urgent need for transparency, accountability, and integrity in managing religious institutions and temples. The government and relevant authorities must decisively act against corruption. They need to ensure the protection and preservation of temples. These hold immense cultural and religious significance for present and future generations.

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