Owner says vested interests want him out

Bengaluru Tamil library owners books destroyed he refuses to back down to vandals
news Books Sunday, April 24, 2016 - 19:55

Nallaperumal, a Tamil literature connoisseur, has been running pillar to post for the last three days to keep his library up and functioning. 

On Thursday morning, Nallaperumal wore up to the news of his library being vandalized allegedly by the members of a particular Sabha, and on reaching the library found hundreds of books, that he had collected over five decades strewn on the streets.

Cocooned on the first floor of a century-old building that belongs to the Someshwara Temple Trust near the Bazaar Street in Ulsoor, the Tirukural Mandram library was established in 1976 by Nallaperumal. Ironically, the Sabha is located at the ground floor of the same building.

“The members of the Sabha, backed by the person who is running the Sabha broke into the library, trashed the windows and threw sacks of the books onto the streets. Naallaperumal was in tears seeing the books that he so loving collected over the period thrown carelessly on the street,” alleged Kanagaraj, a close associate of Nallaperumal.

The Tamil library houses more than a thousand books, all belonging to Nallaperumal, including books from the classic Tamil literature, novels, poetry and grammar, periodicals, the great epics among other genres.

The board that displays the name of the library, in both Tamil and English has been sprayed in black paint. “The library was shut a few months back for renovation purposes. I have been receiving threats to shut down the library and hand over the portion of the house, from the members of the Sabha. I was keen on ignoring the threats and continued running the library, and put in place a renovation plan,” Nallaperumal told The News Minute.

The Editor of Tamizhar Muzhakkam, and the President of Karnataka Tamil People Association IMS Mannivannan, filed a complaint with the Ulsoor Police on Thursday morning. “Although we went to the police in morning, they reached the place of incident only in the evening. The library was provided security cover and the police helped me bundle the books in sacks and lock them up inside the library,” said the librarian, who also runs a small Ayurveda shop near the Kali Temple in Ulsoor. He also added that an FIR was filed by the police only on Saturday morning, after a long wait at the Commissioner’s office.

Nallaperumal has been paying a nominal rent to the Someshwara Temple Trust to run the library in the building. “The Sabha has been claiming to pay tax for the building. But the building does not even belong to them. I have asked them to send me a legal notice, if their case is legal. I haven’t received anything but threats and abuses till now,” he said.

“You can ask any localite who is aware of the affairs. The building belongs to the temple and they do not have any qualms about Nallaperumal running the temple. He is being exploited by a person (whom I do not wish to name) in the Sabha who wants to grab the space and use it for personal gain,” Kanagaraj alleges.

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