Tuesday 5 July 2011

Govt won't stake claim to temple wealth: Oomen Chandy

Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy has said that the state government would not stake any claim to the treasure, valued at nearly Rs 1 lakh crore, which was uncovered at Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. The chief minister while speaking to the media said the treasure should be kept at the temple itself. Chandy also said that the government would provide top level security to the temple.


A team, deputed by the Supreme Court of India, has been examining and opening the cellar rooms of the temple for the past several days. The authorities and inspectors were stunned to find gold and sovereigns worth crores.

The leader of the Hindu Aikya Vedi and one of the senior most leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Kerala, Kummanam Rajashekharan told rediff.com that the Hindu Aikya Vedi is of the opinion that the gold and other precious materials obtained from the temple should remain in the temple and it should be given ample security.

Noted historian and journalist and an authority on Thiruvananthapuram, Malayankeezhu Gopalakrishnan, while speaking to reporters said, "The precious materials obtained from the temple should be kept in the temple. This is the property of the Lord and has to be kept safely in the temple."

Former chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research and one of the eminent historians of the country Dr M G S Narayanan also opined that the wealth that was unearthed from the temple belongs to the temple. He said they were offerings of the people to the Lord and should remain in the temple.

However, noted historian Dr K N Panikkar said, "The wealth from the temple can be used for welfare measures. The other option is that a museum should take the custody of this wealth, but it should not be kept in the temple".

The wealth unearthed from the temple has been receiving media attention from around the world. The Kerala police is initiating schemes to ward off any possible attempts by criminal gangs, both national and international, to loot the treasure.

The state police is expected to form a special team for this and the chief minister has already conducted several rounds of meetings with the top police brass of the state.

Locals have been worried that the government would take over the wealth and use it used for other purposes, and the wealth would be lost in the long run.

"If the government takes over the wealth of the temple, the people of Thiruvananthapuram will be forced to protest, as Lord Padmanabha is our presiding deity. We will not allow any force to take over his wealth which was in the safe custody of erstwhile rulers of Thiruvananthapuram royal family for centuries," said Padma S Nair a native of Kaithamukku, which is close to the temple.

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