The news of ouster of controversial godman Nithyananda, as the junior pontiff of Madurai Adheenam, was welcomed by a majority of Hindu outfits here on Saturday.
Greeting the senior pontiff Arunagirinatha Gurugnana Sambanda Desika Paramacharya, who announced the removal of the man he had anointed as his successor, leaders of the Hindu outfits distributed sweets, broke coconuts and commended the move in front of the Madurai Adheenam campus, situated close to the Meenakshi Temple.
The Hindu Illangyar Peravai president M. N. Rajan hailed the State government’s stand that the appointment of Nithyananda as the 293 pontiff was not valid. The announcement to drop the controversial godman, which was disclosed on Friday night, was looked as a ‘better-late-than-never’ move by members of the Hindu youth forum. They hoped the historic importance of the Mutt, which dates back to over 1,500 years, would be restored in the coming days.
The Mutt, which was surrounded by a large posse of police since Friday night, had a number of visitors till afternoon. The followers of the institution wished that the senior pontiff would lead them in the right direction and not commit any more “mistakes”.
The Adheenam, who looked cheerful, preferred to remain silent and only accepted greetings from select visitors. “I feel satisfied today” was all that he would say to media persons.
After a complaint was lodged with the Madurai City Police that the Mutt may be given a protection since a few of Nithyananda’s followers stayed on the premises, the police were deployed since Friday night. A senior police officer said there was no untoward incident, but the security arrangement would continue till further orders. “After the news about Nithyananda’s ouster was announced, his followers vacated the Math. They left in two luxury cars late last night,” he said.
A Mutt source said the belongings of Nithyananda were kept in a room. His followers had locked them up and left the place. They would come in a day or two and take their goods, the source added.