March 26, 2021
Thousands of people from across Tamil Nadu expressed their support for the release of temples from the clutches of government control by gathering at 11 famous temples in different districts. They included the Saidapet Kaaraneeshwarar Temple in Chennai; Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai; Srirangam Ranganatha Swami Temple in Tiruchi; Varadharaja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram; Kothandaramar Temple in Salem; Vedhapureeswarar Temple in Puducherry; Sree Thanumalayan Temple in Nagercoil, Sangameshwarar Temple in Erode, Brigadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur and the Maruthamalai temple in Kovai. They sang devotional songs including Thevaram, Kanda Sashti Kavasam and Amman songs for an hour at the Temples. They were joined by Isha Samskriti students as well as Isha volunteers. The public also held placards that called for ending “Temple Slavery”.
Sadhguru launched the #FreeTNTemples campaign at the beginning of this month. He termed it a campaign born out of “deep pain” and urged the government that the “anguished cry of the community must be heard.” Over the month, Sadhguru has released disturbing data about the general condition of temples in the state, most of which are desecrated and in ruins due to willful negligence. He also wrote open letters to the Tamil Nadu CM, Shri. E. Palaniswami and Opposition Leader Shri. M.K. Stalin urging them to address the issue in their election manifestos.
The movement is receiving growing support on social media. Celebrities such as actors Arjun, Santhanam, Sreedivya, Kasturi, Kangana Ranaut, Mouni Roy, Raveena Tandon and Draupathi director Mohan were among the first to endorse the campaign on Twitter. Leaders from Industry, Media and Politics have also tweeted in support of the campaign. The BJP and the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), which are part of the AIADMK alliance have declared in their election manifestos that they will free temples from state control if elected to power.