Tamil Nadu

HC rejects plea to recover Raja Raja Cholan statue

Refusing to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking a direction to the authorities to take appropriate steps to recover antique idols allegedly stolen from temples in the State, the Madras High Court on Monday held that it is the duty of the State government to bring back such idols.

The First Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan made the observation while dismissing the PIL moved by former AIADMK Minister V.V. Swaminathan.

Noting that the petitioner’s plea could not be entertained as a PIL, the Bench said that he could always approach the State government for relief.

According to petitioner, in 1010 A.D. during the consecration of Thanjavur Periya Kovil, the statue of Raja Raja Cholan and his wife were installed in the temple.

He claimed that as per the versions of late Shankaracharya, the two statues were made of gold, which were found in the temple till 1900. Thereafter, they were said to have been stolen and new statues placed. “On the occasion of 1000th coronation day of Raja Raja Cholan in 1984, renowned archaeologist Kudavayil Balasubramanian raised the issue that the statue of Raja Raja Cholan in the temple was not genuine.

He wanted the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MGR and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, present during the function, to take steps to trace the statues,” the petitioner said.

Pointing out an article published by writer Kula Shanmugasundaram the petitioner claimed that the original statue of Raja Raja Cholan was now in Calico Museum in Ahemadabad, Gujarat.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 12:14:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/HC-rejects-plea-to-recover-Raja-Raja-Cholan-statue/article16719533.ece

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