Devotees urged to toe `civil disobedience' line
source: The Hindu, April 23, 2007
Temple panel sets June 8 deadline for passing of Endowment Amendment Act
Asks pilgrims not to put donations in hundis
"Don't buy tickets for sevas from temples"
HYDERABAD: The Temples' Protection Committee which organised an `open debate' here on Saturday on the Endowments Amendment Bill-2007 has called for "a civil disobedience movement" by devotees. It has set June 8 as the deadline for passing the legislation.
M.V. Soudararajan, convener, told The Hindu that the committee would also embark on a plan to take up `doopa deepa naivedyam' scheme in temples across the State, as envisaged in the Endowments Amendment Bill-2007, since there was uncertainty about its passage after it was referred to the Select Committee on April 9.
"We will give a call to the devotees, as part of civil disobedience movement, to stop donating to `hundis' and not to purchase tickets for performing `sevas' in 206 temples State-wide, he said.
The professor-turned archaka of Chilkur temple expressed distress that the bill could not be passed on the last day of the recently concluded session despite assurances by Ministers N. Raghuveera Reddy and P. Lakshmaiah.
He said the committee would launch a State-wide campaign to educate the people and mobilise their opinion with the intent of pressing its demand for an ordinance replacing the bill. The campaign would take off with the committee organising meetings in Telangana districts. It would culminate with a public meeting at Warangal on May 20 to be attended by legislators of different parties. A similar drive in the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions would follow.
Already, people were organising poojas and conducting bhajans in the Ananta Padmanabha Temple at Devarampalli village in Ranga Reddy district and in Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Warangal. Families were taking turns to prepare food and offering it as `naivedyam' in the temples. This trend will increase, with more devotees following their example, Prof. Soundararajan observed.