Protest coconut ban in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple sign now

Chennai 41.
8 December 2009
Freelance writer
H6 / B5. Twin Roses Apartments,
68. East Coast Road,
Chennai 600041.

Honourable Deputy Chief Minister,
Tamil Nadu Secretariat,
Fort St. George,
Chennai 600009.

Respected Deputy Chief Minister

Sub: Governments proposal to ban coconuts inside Meenakshi Amman
Temple, Madurai.
Ref: Report in Tamil Daily Dinamalar dated 7 December, 2009.

With reference to the above, I, as a staunch Hindu and a devotee of Meenakshi Amman, would like to convey my total disagreement with the outrageous proposal of the government to ban coconuts inside the Meenakshi Amman Temple. I understand from the news report that the police has suggested this proposal and the HR & CE Department has also accepted. Since the department has asked for public opinions before 15 December, I am circulating this petition online, and it will reach you before the evening of
15 December, signed by all concerned Hindus.

Respected Sir
Coconut is an integral part of Hindu religion, culture and tradition. We dont have a single worship, custom or ritual sans coconut. Any coconut merchant would vouch for the fact that the temples are at the top of his clientele list, rarely next only to Hotels. We consider the state governments proposal as a huge blow to the religious tradition and culture. Also, it would certainly affect the livelihood of coconut vendors, merchants and farmers.

Police citing security reasons are not at all acceptable to us. It is the responsibility of the government and the duty of the law enforcers to ensure the security of the temple and safety of the devotees. When the police have so many other measures and strategies, their recommendation for a ban on coconuts is not only flawed but also hurts the religious and cultural sentiments of the Hindu majority. All these years the devotees have been fully cooperating with the police appreciating the security restrictions without any inhibition, but the present proposal just goes out of the limits of tolerance.

Respected Sir
It is a sore truth that majority of temples across the state are situated in a non-Hindu environment, as majority of the vendors and merchants doing business enjoying the temple lands for a paltry sum as rent are non-Hindus. Non-Hindus surrounding a Hindu worshipping place is in itself a grave security concern, especially considering the enormous growth of religious fundamentalism. While the threats from the jihadis are an open secret, the nefarious activities of the missionaries and churches in front of the temples have become quite common. The government and the police would do well if they correct the environment and periodically screen and check the non-Hindu establishments surrounding the temple, instead of taxing the Hindu devotees more and more.

Above all, the proposal violates the rules of the TN act 22 of 1959.

The present proposal violates section 25 (page 62) and section 105 (page 165) of the above HR&CE act. (refer : The Tamilnadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment act 1959 (Tamilnadu act 22 of 1959) by S. Rajaraman, B.A., B.L.,- Deputy secretary to government, Law department, Government of Tamilnadu (retd.,) - published by C. Sitaraman & co pvt. Ltd.- Reprint Apr. 2004)

According to AIR 1936, Madras 973, 71 MLJ 588, 1939 (2) MLJ 661, Section 44 of the law weekly 559, the proposal of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple board seems not to know its own powers.

In a case (1969) pertaining to the interference by the EO in the Thirupathy temple in the size and cost of laddus the high court bench in AP containing the honorable judges, justice Vaidya and justice Sriramulu quashed the order of the EO on the basis that it infringed on the rights conferred by article 25 & 26 of the constitution.

Respected Deputy Chief Minister, I hope it is very clear that the proposal hurts the religious and cultural sentiments of Hindus and also violates the law of the land. Hence, I request you to kindly withdraw the proposal immediately.

Thanking You Sir,

Yours truly,


Cc To: The Commissioner,
Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department,
119, Uthamar Gandhi Salai,
Chennai 600034.

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Barry SchmidtBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Deputy Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu Government


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