While I agree that “the secular functions of the temple are open to public regulation”, there is no real clarity on what that secular function is (Editorial, “Safeguarding temple treasures,” April 29). Does conducting festivals come under a secular function? Is it necessary to include members of other religions as “the public who will oversee the functions of the temple administration?” The Adhi Kesava Perumal temple at Thiruvattar in Kanyakumari district is believed to be the family deity for the royals preceding Sri Marthanda Varma. This temple too had a treasure trove — wealth in various forms, and antiques donated by kings and even the Nawabs of Arcot. Much of it is said to have been stolen, and the case has yet to be solved. It is the sincere wish of many that the administration of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is restored to the royals. It is unfair to cast aspersions on them.
It is evident that administration of temples is a very delicate subject with many parties involved. In this case, the report has facilitated quick action and has been welcomed by many devotees. It is good that the judiciary is playing an active role in protecting temples.
C.P. Chandra Das,
It is time to limit the roles of the government and the judiciary to intervening in temple affairs only in cases of suspected corruption, criminalisation, inefficiency and violation of rituals. Moreover, any higher role for the state in Hindu temples alone is against the “concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion.”
A uniform legislation to cover all places of worship of all religions looks ideal, just and devoid of discrimination.
If the faith and rites permits, it will be appropriate to build an international museum to exhibit the priceless treasures on the precincts of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. This museum may be on the lines of Egyptian museums that have exhibited treasures of the Pharaohs. It should also envisage “Travancoreology” as a branch of learning which deals with the rich culture, heritage, history and rites of Travancore.