"Being the majority, Muslims objected and complained to the district administration and police about a new construction on a private temple. Within no time, the police descended on the village with JPCs and razed our temple ignoring all our pleas” rues Pacchaimaal,who has complained to the District Magistrate.
The Kattuppasathy Madasamy temple owned by the Nadar community in Sammenkulam village was demolished by the district administration and police
The recent incident of demolition of a Hindu temple at the instigation of radical Muslim elements in Tenkasi gives credence to the allegations of nexus between the district administration, police and State government for the sake of their vote bank politics. Last month, Bharat Mata statue installed on the premises of a temple on private Patta land was covered up by the police after a few Christian missionaries complained that it hurt their religious sentiments. Following protests by BJP, Hindu Munnani, the police removed the cloth covering.
In Tenkasi district, the Nadar community is primarily into small business and agriculture. They pray at the Kattuppasathy Madasamy temple in Sammenkulam village from generations together. They consider it as a family deity. The temple was built on a Patta land and conduct festivals and special poojas annually as a community gathering. However, Muslims are a majority in this hamlet and Hindus suffer from the repeated disruptions from the Islamists here. The district is a boiling cauldron and attacks on Hindus by radical Islamists is not uncommon here.
According to locals, some radical elements belonging to the Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Muslim organisations, are trying to create communal discord between Hindus and Muslims. Recently, they objected to the Kattuppasathy Madasamy temple renovation, saying it affects the privacy of their women folk bathing. The police and district administration, whose paramount dedication seems to serve minorities, without following due process of law bulldozed the temple ignoring the protests of Hindus.
In his complaint to the District Magistrate, Pacchaimaal, son of Subbaiah Nadar, the village head of Sambankulam, said there are over 160 Hindu Nadars living in the village, but Muslims outnumber them. He said most of their community members are illiterate and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. "In my land at Sivasailam village in Tenkasi district, bearing Patta numbers 1598 and 1376, we have a forest deity temple. Every year during the month of Chitrai, we change earthen base with a new one and celebrate festivals", Pacchaimaal explained.
Any number of please from the Hindu villagers fell of deaf ears of the police and district administration
However this year, due to lockdown, festivals were cancelled. But they had to change the earthen base to avoid it being eroded during rainy seasons. Hence they put up a cement superstructure, explains Pacchaimaal. He says that all along the Hindus maintained perfect harmony with Muslims and treated each other as brothers and sisters. But some people, who are associated with fundamental outfits, opposed our temple construction saying that this would allow the temple's devotees to see their women folks taking a bath. "Being the majority, they objected and complained to the district administration and police. Within no time, the police descended on the village with JPCs and razed our temple ignoring all our pleas", rues Pacchaimaal.
They neither listened to the version of the Hindus nor to the fact that Kattuppasathy Madasamy temple was on Patta land where the Nadar community has been worshipping for generations, and Pacchaimaal family are the hereditary trustees. Pacchaimaal said "There is no ban on having a temple on a Patta land. But officials say it was on a Promboke land and no building approvals were obtained". He said that the incident had affected their sentiments as the action was taken without hearing their version.
"They demolished the temple merely based on a complaint from the majority Muslim community. This would pave the way for a communal clash in our village", warns Pacchaimaal. He reiterated that they have neither encroached on any government land nor made any new construction. He said they have just renovated the place with a temporary roof. "We assure you that none will be affected by our temple. Only some with connection with fundamental outfits want to destroy communal harmony and hide the truth. We request the authorities to allow us to build a temple on our Patta land immediately" he stated.
Copy of the complaint by Pacchaimaal to the District Magistrate of Tenkasi, TN
The Nadar community now feels that both police and revenue authorities acted in this manner to satisfy the Muslims. It gives credence to the allegation that Edapadi Palaniswamy administration is going out of the way to please the minorities in the State considering their votes which are crucial for their win in next year's assembly polls.
Hindu Maha Sabha leader Tha. Balasubramaniam visited the demolished area and assured them of his support to rebuild the temple. Hindu Munnani and other Hindu organisations are supporting the Hindus of the village. They assured them that a grand temple would be built at the same place.
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