This refers to the report “No claim on temple wealth, Marthanda Varma tells court” (July 9). The royal family deserves all praise. In the scheme of things and as a tribute to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, the treasure, or at least a part of it, can be used for the uplift of the poor.
G.V. Subba Lakshmi,
Mr. Marthanda Varma's submission is the greatest example of moral and ethical conduct in modern times by a ruling clan. It has set the bar very high and is something extraordinary. The Supreme Court must now ensure a very stringent mechanism for the safety and security of the treasure and a flawless plan for the best use of the wealth without intervention by vested interests.
The debate around the treasure seems to be ignoring the great political significance historically attributed to the temple. The Travancore kings considered themselves mere servants (dasas) of the deity, while Sree Padmanabhaswamy was considered the true “sovereign.” The salary received by government employees in the erstwhile kingdom was known as “Sree Padmanabha-nte Chakram” (money from Lord Sree Padmanabha). Even today this phrase is used in that part of the State to denote the salary received by government employees. The fact that Sree Chithira Tirunal Maharaja, 1931-2, contemplated using a portion of the treasures to meet State expenses was probably due to the needs in those times. In such circumstances, the treasure in the cellars of the temple can be viewed as a security or reserve of the kingdom, just like the “bullion reserve” in the central bank of any modern state.
Joseph P. Alex,
The Maharaja of Cochin sold some ornaments that belonged to the Poornathrayeesa temple in Thripunithura, and gave the proceeds to the British to extend the railway line from Shoranur to Cochin. A part of the treasure found in Thiruvananthapuram can also be used for people's welfare.
T.J. Unnikrishnan Nambuthiri,
The amazing treasure unearthed from the vaults of the temple is testimony to the care the Travancore kings took to ensure that the treasure was in the safest possible custody. There should be a consensus on what should be done with the treasure.
It is only appropriate that the extent of the riches is made public and everything handled in a transparent manner. This is the only way to prevent unpleasant developments.
While history is replete with examples of kings plundering temples, here is a family which donated to the temple, preserved the treasure quietly and says it has no claim to the treasure. One shudders to think of the fate of the valuables if they go into the hands of our politicians and bureaucrats! Mr. Marthanda Varma should be entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the treasure and supervising its utilisation. Can we find a better person?
The temple's trustees should, after allotting a portion to the temple, use the rest of the money to provide infrastructure for visiting devotees. There are many temples in Kerala that do not have any infrastructure worth mentioning. The money can be used on them. The trustees can also open schools and hospitals and provide free service to the poor.
V. Anand Kumar,