Is it necessary to open temples in midnight?
On the 31st of Dec ’15 there was a debate in the Sun TV in connection with the keeping open the Hindu temples at mid night on the 31 st December every year. The two persons talking in favour were telling that keeping open the Hindu temples will facilitate those working in BPOs to have darshan in the temples. This segment may step into TASMAC if the temples are not kept open, they emphasized. There can not be a greater absurdity than this.
For, if their argument is taken as such, it will mean that keeping open the temples at mid night is for facilitating the youth, and in particular those who are working in BPOs. If so, do they demand keeping open the temples only for this segment? All those working in BPOs are not spread all over the state, but are confined to chennai and few other centres only. Why they have not argued in favour of other age groups is a big question. If the youth want to worship in temples only during mid nights, why they have not demanded keeping open the temples on other 364 days of the year? More over the BPOs and ITs have come into being only in the last two decades.
The two also have not provided any solution as to what solution they are offering to the youth for other days from slipping into the dens on othervdays.
But this culture was started by the devotees themselves who thronged Tirupati on the 31st Dec every year some three decades ago. And the TTD which was commercialized long back started capitalizing the temple much before any other temple took advantage of the milling crowd to fill in their coffers. And slowly all the temples were slowly made commercial establishments. And this occasion was also utilised by the government to rob the pockets of the worshipers.
Mr. Srinivasa Sastrigal has said during the debate that according to the Hindu calendar, the day does not start at mid night at the stroke of the bell at 12, but only at the time of the sun rise. For the English the day starts at midnight.
Mr. Elangovan said that as per the Agama Sashtras, the temples should not kept open at mid nights. To counter him the other gentleman said that several temples like Kasi Viswanath, Puri Jagannath are open at midnight. He has not clarified whether those temples remain open beyond midnight. There may be some local customs which may permit them to keep the temples in late hours. And for that matter, they have also not placed any argument to implement the same procedure through out the country. If they are sincere, they should have demanded the same rule for all days of the year. But they were sticking on to 31 st Dec only.
Why do they want to play with the temples alone?
Mr. Elangovan also noted during the debates that Muslims do not attach any importance to the English new year.
No one is demanding the mosques to remain open for prayers on the 31 st Dec. They consider it as any other day of the year.
What is implied here is that those who argue in favour of midnight opening of the temples during new year target only the Hindus and their places of worship. What was left here is that temples do not remain open at the beginning of the new year, be it Tamil new year, Vishu or Ugadi as according to Hindu customs the start of the day is from Sunrise only.
The day and date which we use for official purpose should not be clubbed with the Agama Shastras.
Playing and altering with Hindu places of worship has become the order of the day. Let us not forget that during the previous stint as chief minister, karunanidhi changed the Tamil new year to Pongal to coincide with the English calendar. If got elected, he would have changed the same with the English calendar to be more precise.
In this fashion only the government is playing with the temple administration and made the death anniversaries of their political mentor Annadurai, with mass feeding using the temples.
That is also against the Agama Shastras. Annadurai has spoken and written against Hindu customs, scriptures, practices with vulgar descriptions and took pride in not calling himself a non Hindu. But the government use the temple funds to observe his death anniversary in the temples. It goes unquestioned.
Will any TV channel come forward to debate or question such action of the government? Can these parties can make it mandatory i all the places of worship?