It was shocking to read about the desecration of the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, by cadres of the Pattali Makkal Katchi. The temple is not only a place of worship for Hindus but also an archaeological treasure of the State. That the authorities permitted the party to hold a public meeting close to this ancient monument despite knowing its track record of violence and unruly behaviour is unfortunate.
Jungle law is operating everywhere in the country with the muscled and moneyed going virtually unchallenged. It does not augur well for a country where most things are going out of hand — economics, law and order, security, women’s safety and, now, heritage.
The PMK leadership may have a right to its opinion on various issues but its cadres have no business endangering heritage sites which belong to the people of Tamil Nadu, India and the world. The incident makes a case for the ASI to have its own security forces to safeguard the priceless heritage under its charge.