Centre arranges special flight for Tamil Mutt heads for Parliament building inaugurationtext_fields
New Delhi: The Centre ahead of the inauguration of the new parliament building arranged a special flight for the heads of 19 adheenams (a form of Hindu monastery) of Tamil Nadu. They were also given arrangements for their everyday rituals for the last three days.
Each mutt delegation was not just given separate cars and large rooms but was also allowed to bring up to seven people for assistance as some of the pontiffs are old and need help to move about, said a person close to the matter.
People familiar with the matter said that the Centre assured them of support in the coming days, reported NDTV.
Six of the 19 adheenam heads - Dharmapuram, Madurai, Thiruvavadthurai, Kundrakudi, Perur, and Velakurichi - were specifically asked to present the Sengol to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ceremony. The recitation of Tamil chants and hymns was present during the programme.
Sathyagnana Mahadeva, the chief pontiff of the Velakurichi adheenam, said: "In 1947, it was just one adheenam that gave the Sengol to PM Nehru in 1947, but now there are six that did the honours. It is a big recognition of our efforts to take Saivite traditions to people."
M Kartikeyan, a senior advocate associated with Dharmapuram mutt, told the outlet that many ancient adheenams vanished due to lack of support. "The PM calling and honouring us is going to enthuse our followers and even scale up our religious activities." Eight of the 19 Saivite mutts are believed to have a history of existence of at least 400 years.
"For example, at the Dharmapuram adheenam, there is a puja that happens before sunset of the Lingam we have had for centuries. They made sure we landed before 4 pm so that rituals are not affected. The food that the seers here consume has to be prepared in a certain way. We are glad everything was taken care of," he added.
Adheenams are Shiva worshipping mutts with Tamil rituals and ways of worship. The pontiffs came from different parts of the state.
The Sengol is a symbol of righteousness and self-rule. Many criticised that it is a symbol of the monarchy because only the king was allowed to wield it and should not be used in the parliament.
Dravidian author Thirunavukkarasar said the attempt by evolving society is to reject symbols that reflect any form of oppression from the past. "Varnashrama dharma (caste) has to be fought inch by inch... traditions that the mutt uphold of caste discrimination and exclusivity cannot be glorified in a democracy."