Tamil Nadu Election 2021: The power of temples in the state goes beyond religion, shaping identity

Tamil Nadu Election 2021 Tamils ​​do not pray only in temples; They see them as a communal space that confirms social unity.
In early November, Tamil Nadu BJP President L Murugan embarked on a ‘dispersal journey’ to cover these six places; Arupadayedubhagwan Murugan was considered one of the indigenous Tamil deities. The plan was based on the BJP’s most successful blueprint, a yatra in the name of God. This is according to the senior brass of the BJP in Tamil Nadu. Yatra Tamil Nadu is a spiritual country, and the intention was to send a message that “Lord Muruga will not be insulted.”

Saffron, well, the spear of the deity in El Murugan’s picture may still be the most elusive and conflicting image seen in Tamil politics, known for its symbolism. Tamil Nadu has long held the subject of tolerance and secularism, and the visit was a polarizing influence.

The Waitriville Yatra also ignited the wrath of the AIADMK, a BJP ally. Through its official mouthpiece, Namadhu Amma, the party hit out at the BJP, saying that Tamil Nadu is a state of peace and harmony, and no one would be allowed to behave adversely. journey.

Tamil Nadu temples have been of great importance for at least the last 15 centuries. Not only are these places of worship, they are also important in the social, economic and political development of their communities. The people of Tamil Nadu have gathered at the temple to offer their prayers and gather as a community and participate in the ritual of rebuilding social unity.

According to eminent scholar Arjun Appadurai, the Tamil temple is considered a stage, a ‘symbolic place’ where social status is displayed publicly and sometimes challenged. The Tamil Temple Cement is a place of introduction where you can see pop-ups of the Morgan Temple in different parts of the world, from Morgan to Mauritius to the border town of Moreh in Singapore. There are now Murugan temples on five continents, resulting in unity among the Tamil provinces on these continents.

Indeed, the revival of Tamil culture coincided with the renovation and popularization of Murugan temples across the state. M Karunanidhi, a five-time chief minister and chairman of Amec, accepted this, saying that Murugan was the deity of the DMK in the temple town of Palani in 1971. Similarly, Tamil identity is emphasized through the Mariamman temple, where versions of different Kali / Durga “Amman” expressions can be found throughout the state. The faith of Murugan and Amman is so strong in Tamil Nadu that for centuries, the people’s social, political, and economic life revolved around people’s temples and their deities.

The production of collective identities of “Tamils” has long been prevalent in the region, particularly in six residences, as a network of temples can be mapped, demarcated, and shown where not a common identity Can be given.

This includes a misconception of Hinduism in Tamil Nadu, as the Tamil temple has not recognized the people of this state’s collective identity for many centuries.

French sociologist Pierre-Yves Trolley highlighted an important point, where he argued that Tamil temples were central to local development and the beginning of population growth. In fact, no city in South India is randomly established, but there is always a myth that there is a myth that there is a divine manifestation (usually a grave). Linga or any goddess) Madurai, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchengdu, Palani are excellent examples of this. Even in the vast city of Chennai, Kapaleeswarar and Parthasarathy temples originated as centers in the Mylapore and Triplican regions. The statement that Tamil Hindus are in danger seems contradictory because an important part of Tamil identity is to be religious.

Another strategy of the BJP is to portray the DMK as an anti-Hindu party, which attacked the DMK’s long legacy of atheism and rationalism. Although atheism has long been the ideology of the Dravidian Kazhagam (DK), DMK members have followed the Tamil tradition of deep faith in Murugan and Amman. For decades, local group leaders have contributed to the wealth of their local temple and have held the sacred tradition of feeding food to large numbers of people within the temple. When I went to a party leader’s house, I saw a large puja room with a huge portrait of Murugan and once told the local DMK leader to wait for more than an hour after finishing his morning puja Gone.

G. G. Mastan, Secretary of DMK Minority Branch, G. Mastan contributed Rs 11,000 in Ram temple’s construction in Ayodhya. He further claims that he has participated in more than 320 temple festivals in the last five years. The DMK manifesto for the upcoming elections has allocated Rs 1,000 crore for renovation and sanctification of Hindu temples and promised people of all castes the chance to become priests. All these activities are part of this local community involvement and living reality, as the DMK is a cadre-based party with a deep connection to the ground reality.
The DMK has long disproportionately stated that it is not against any religion or temple, but against the concept of Brahmanism, where Brahmins are superior at birth and others inferior. This rationalism and secularism allowed for the interpretation and re-interpretation of Tamil identity and Hinduism. If Muruga and Amman are not subject to interpretation and thus reinterpreted, they will not continue to guide the Tamil people for centuries, something that Lord Rama and Hinduism do not allow.

For Tamil Nadu, this rationality and secularism is not a bug, but is characterized by the continuity of its identity.

The author is an alumnus of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an independent researcher who works at the intersection of race, politics, and education. Published opinions are personal

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