TN Minister PK Sekar Babu said the decision on restricting worship to four days a week has been taken as per the Union government’s COVID-19 advisory.

BJP activists stage a protest urging the Tamil Nadu government to give permission for opening templesPTI
news Politics Friday, October 08, 2021 - 10:28
Written by  Agencies

The Tamil Nadu state president of the BJP, K Annamalai has called upon the DMK government to take immediate steps to open temples on all days. He was speaking at a protest march organised by the BJP in front of the Sri Kaalikambal temple in Chennai on Thursday, October 7. The BJP leader demanded from the DMK government to lift restrictions on weekend worship at all temples within 10 days. Presently, temples are closed for worship on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

He warned that the DMK government will have to face backlash from the people of the state if it tries to "impose its ideology" on the people of Tamil Nadu. The former IPS officer said that while Tasmac shops and cinema theatres are open on all days in the state, however, the temples are closed from Friday to Sunday. This is totally unfounded and that it defies all logic, he said. The TN BJP chief said that the state government was reopening schools for all classes for children even though coronavirus vaccine is not rolled out for children.

Annamalai said that the closure of temples has an indirect effect on the lives of people and said that the women who sell flowers or the traders who sell pooja materials or the farmers who produce them are all in misery as their livelihood is affected. BJP senior leader and former Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan participated in the protest march at Tiruvannamalai, while former BJP national secretary H Raja took part in the programme at Rameswaram. Former BJP state president CP Radhakrishnan inaugurated the protest at Palani, while senior party leader and assembly legislator Nainar Nagendran launched the protest at Tiruchendur. Mahila Morcha National president Vanathi Sreenivasan joined the protest at Coimbatore.

The Tamil Nadu government in September announced the extension of COVID-19 lockdown till October 31 and said that all places of worship will be closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays till the end of October. And with festival season nearing, the ban was also imposed on conducting festivals in public along with restrictions to hold cultural, social and political events in the state.

"The decision has been taken as per the Centre''s advisory. Devotees are not allowed to enter temples on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, regular pujas are performed by the priests during those days," State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister PK Sekar Babu told reporters here in response to a question on the BJP''s demand to re-open the temples during the week-end.

Taking potshots at the BJP''s agitation, the Minister said that the party's decision to agitate on a Thursday had curtailed the darshan days to three. "Hundreds of devotees visit the Kalikambal temple on Thursday. But they could not visit the temple due to the agitation in front of the shrine," he said and accused the BJP of "blindly opposing" the government on the issue.

"They should understand that restrictions were enforced to prevent the loss of human lives. They should be aware of the seriousness of the issue," Babu further said.

Chief Minister Stalin will take steps to to ensure that the temples are open all through the week once the threat of the pandemic recedes, the minister added.

(IANS, and PTI inputs)