The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs at the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, found itself at the centre of yet another row this week, after media reports claimed that 'papan propaganda' was found on its online website.
The row began after the TTD recently released its calendar for 2020. Several users who Googled 'TTD Calendar 2020', said that they had found the word 'Yesaiah' in the search results, which refers to Jesus Christ in Telugu. Many also posted screenshots online.
When you google 'ttd 2020 calendar pdf', they are saying in Telugu 'Shree Yesaiah'. Please see the screenshot I have taken couple minutes back pic.twitter.com/qr0gL0lRkT— Vishvaksena Reddy (@VishvaksenaR) November 30, 2019
TTD Executive Officer (EO) Anil Kumar Singhal said that it was a problem with Google. He clarified that information regarding a programme conducted by the TTD had been wrongly displayed in the search results.
“(It) displayed a word 'Sriye' as Sri Yesaiah," the EO told reporters, adding that it was a transliteration problem. He insisted that the word Yesaiah was not found on the website itself, but only in the search results.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Chairman YV Subba Reddy lambasted media outlet Andhrajyothi which first carried the report, and denied all allegations.
He said that the opposition party TDP led by Chandrababu Naidu and Andhrajyothi publication were behind this 'conspiracy'. He added that a complaint had been filed and said that a report will be sought on this issue soon.
"We are in the service of god and I urge everyone to stop such conspiracy in the name of god," Subba Reddy said.
EO Anil Singhal said, there is no word “ Yesaiah ” in TTD website. In the google search ,TTD Vikarinama Samvatsara Panchangam 2019-20 displayed a word Sriye as Sri Yesaiah. The transliteration of google depends on pdf image, font size, font type and space between them letters.— Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (@TtdTirumala) December 1, 2019
TTD cyber crime wing soon?
Subba Reddy stated that he was keen on taking stringent action against those who unnecessarily involve TTD in such controversies, with an intent to damage the governing body's reputation. He said that a 'cyber-crime wing' would soon be opened under the TTD.
Citing recent examples of controversies, which included advertisements of Jerusalem and Haj pilgrimages on bus tickets at Tirumala, and an alleged 'Jesus symbol' at Tirupati, the TTD Chairman said that misinformation was being spread on social media, mainly by those sympathetic to the TDP.
"'Serious actions will be taken in accordance with law those who are involved in such criminal activities," he said.
Subba Reddy said that people in Andhra Pradesh from all religions had voted for YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and elected him as the Chief Minister, and accused the opposition party of trying to provoke clashes between religions.