Title: Regarding bringing sites of worship to the list of centrally protected monuments.
DR.T. SUMATHY (A) THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN (CHENNAI SOUTH):
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture had recently proposed to bring important sites of worship that are at present under the State governments’ control, to the list of centrally protected monuments. As mentioned by the ministry, there are over 7000 temples in the state of Tamil Nadu which are over 100 years old. The temples in Tamil Nadu have their own identity and historic significance. Bringing it under the purview of the central government would cause, a lot of confusion and chaos as there exists a huge cultural and traditional gap, resulting in alleged cultural invasion.
Each state and its temple have their own identity. Trying to bring all the monuments and temples under ASI, a single administrative power would eventually result in inefficiency and loss of the cultural nuances attached to that place. Late in 2002, our leader had opposed the move of the central government to bring the Tiruvannamálai temple under their administrative power for the same reason of negligence and the fear of losing the Tamil identity.
Following in his footsteps, our present party leader insisted that, at present the temples under the central government’s administration are being poorly maintained and adding more temples would result in dereliction of duty.
Further, the people of Tamil Nadu, fear this as a way to impose Sanskritic language and practices in the state resulting in alleged cultural invasion. Also, the Ministry has not come up with a proper rationalization for their proposal and hence I request the Ministry to withdraw their action and allow the state governments to preserve their own cultural heritage and historic monuments.