Protection of Hindu temples: HDPS to launch padayatras
source: The Hindu, August 7, 2007
Yatris to set out from Basar in Adilabad district in September
Yatra to cover 1,000 km in 13 districts
41-day yatra to conclude at Tirumala
TIRUPATI: With a view to protecting the Hindu temples from the vagaries of the increasing State interference and to make them become the centre for social renaissance, the Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi (HDPS) will be embarking upon a two-phased ‘padayatra’ in the State covering all the districts.
According to M. Kamal Kumar, general secretary of the HDPS on Monday, in the first phase the padayatris would set out from the famous Saraswathi temple of Basar in Adilabad district sometime in September and would converge at Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara after 41 days covering a distance of about 1,000 km spread over 13 districts. In all about 108 activists of the HDPS would participate in the Devalaya Parisrkahsna Padayatra and would motivate the people towards realising their responsibility in preserving and protecting the temples, the temple tenets, ancient values and so on.
The trekkers in course of their mission covering a distance of about 25 km daily would stay for the nights in the local temples and would go on a ‘bhikshatana’ to collect the groceries and vegetables from the locals to meet their food requirements.
The holy trek was meant to indirectly mobilise public opinion and create awareness among the Hindus and to revive the temples to function as social welfare centres, Kamal Kumar said.
He described the padayatra as a ‘bhakti movement’ to sensitise the target group against the Government’s continued apathy towards the temples, their rituals, fairs and festivals and at the same time sapping them of their vitals.