Christian evangelism in Thirumala Thirupathi
The recent events that took place in Tirumala Tirupathi are disheartening to every Hindu. It is stunning to find that nearly 50 Christian families are settled on Tirumala hill and no less than 20 persons of Christianity are employed in TT devastanam.
These families conducted Christmas prayers on the Tirumala Hill, which goes to prove the complacency of the TTD Board. These Christian elements are audacious enough to distribute Christian pamphlets to devotees going to Tirupathi Temple. What is the Devastanam's vigilance department doing? Such brazen acts on the part of Christians makes one suspect that these people are willy-nilly supported by the TTD Board.
Added to this sad state of affairs is the latest move by the authorities recognizing Tirumala as a township with the temple jurisdiction restricted to 27.5 sq.km. This move it is widely believed that this step is meant to make way for construction of Church(es?) on Tirumala hills. Above events lend evidence to this belief. Otherwise what is the reason to reduce the sacred seven hills area of 243 to 27.5 sq. km? They're drastically reducing the jurisdiction of Devastanams. Reducing the Lord Venkateswara's seven hills to two hills is an affront to religious sentiments of Hindus.
The Vice-Chancellor, Dean and other functionaries of Padmavati University are believing Christians and they are forcing the students to participate in Christian Prayers, taking them to Church in vehicles owned by the University, conducting Christian religious propaganda in SV University Hostels, distributing Christian literature in educational institutions are some of the Christian activities that deeply perturb Hindu community.
The offerings made by devotees in Lord Balaji's Hundi should be used only for Hindu religion, spiritual activities. With that object in view the Hindu Dharma Prachara Samstha was started in the year 1968. But later in the year 1982 the word Hindu was removed from its name changing it to Dharma Prachara Parishat. The motive behind the change in name is to divert the huge funds offered by the devotees to Lord Sri Venkateswara as token of their religious devotion to populist Government schemes.
As a part of that move Rs. 500 crores worth of Hundi money is ought to be diverted in the name of "Irrigation Bonds". Going the way Govt. misutilization of public funds. How the religious funds are going to be spent in any one's guess. Thus to divert the money offered by devotees with specific religious motives to non-religious purpose is clear case of subversion of Hindu religion.
Tirumala is the most sacred place. To convert it into a tourist, recreational center as the Govt. is planning, is the sure way to ultimately make it in to a pleasure resort. This is reprehensible.
If the sacred Tirumala Temple Township is degraded in this fashion, where is the place left for Hinduism? What is the fate of Hindu Society?
Let us all wake up before it is too late. Let us resolve to fight out to protect the sanctity and property of sacred TT Kshetram through all possible democratic means. Let us resolve to denote all our mite and might in this regard.
Some Evidence from Telugu News Papers
1. Bus No. AP11 Z 1130 belonging to RTC left Tirumala at 5.30 P.M. on Sunday 9.4.06 for Tirupathi. One Balaraju boarded the bus along with three others. They carried a handbag full of Christian Literature and started distributing the same to the passengers. The passengers objected to the distribution of Christian Pamphlets. Among those who objected was one Mr. Aravind a resident of Parimala Apartments of Kothapet, Hyderabad. (Andhra Jyothi – 10 April, 2006)
2. Christian Propaganda in S.V.University – Students confront the Pastor:
On 11th April 2006 students belonging to TNSF and ABVP students unions obstructed the Christian carrying on propaganda within University campus. The enraged students vehemently opposed pastor Devasahayam and his cohorts. For the past two years a student in mate of room no. 126 of University Hostel E-Block has been conducting Christian gatherings by inviting priests. He is inducing some students to join the meetings. Offended by this unbecoming action, other students demanded the instigator to stop the activity. On Tuesday (12 th) the Christian propagandist came to conduct meeting as usual. Students confronted him and told him to stop evangelism. Hot expelled exchanges took place and the students expelled the intruder. (Andhra Jyothi – 12 April, 2006)
3. Search for Christians in TTD Employees Quarters:
Christians residing in Tirumala are under surveillance. They were asked to leave Tirumala. As per the rules of TTD, Non-Hindus are barred from taking part in the work of Tirumala Temple or other Hindu religious programmes. Non-Hindus cannot be employed in Tirumala Temple establishment. Further as per the rules conduction non-Hindu religious propaganda or programmes in Tirumala will be considered an offence. In view of this, the TTD Officials have started identifying those employees who converted themselves to other religious after taking up job with TTD and such persons are mooted to be moved away from Tirumala. So far the officials identified some 20 non-Hindus staying in TTD employees quarters. (Andhra Bhoomi – 15 April, 2006)
4. Sleepy Vigilance… TTD top brass displeased on Christian propaganda in Tirumala:
Higher Officials of TTD feel that the failure of vigilance department led to the recent spurt in Christian propaganda in Tirumala. It came to their notice that some TTD employees converted to Christianity under various allurements played host to the evangelist activities. As such they are investigating the details of employee converts. Devasthanam Executive Officer Mr. Narayana Sarma and special officer Mr. Dharma Reddy are reviewing the situation that to the Christian activities in Tirumala. ( Andhra Jyothi – 11 April, 2006)
5. Another bunt of Christian propaganda:
A fresh round of Christian propaganda led to thence situation in Tirupathi. Christian evangelist swarmed on different institutions belonging to SV University, Padmavathi women's University and other TTD run colleges on Thursday conducting aggressive propaganda. Reacting to this predatory activity students and general public confronted the evangelists under the leadership of Ramesh Naidu, the ABVP National Executive Committee member. As a result tense situation prevailed at various colleges. Nearly 30 women and 10 males were going round colleges to conduct Christian propaganda right inside college premises. They specially chose EAMCET exam centers to conduct their propaganda. (Eenadu…….. 5 May,2006)
6. Christian propaganda by TTD's AEO – A devotee Complains to EO:
"The TTD is one of the largest religious institution in the world. A top official such a famous institution, like the AEO is resorting to Christian religious propaganda" – complains a Hindu devotee named Ramana hailing from punganur to the EO of TTD Mr. APVN Sarma. Ramana made the complaint while participating in the "Dial you EO" programme conducted by the Television. He complained that Mr. Jayaram, AEO of TTD is propagating Christian religion." A person in high rank in TTD working against TTD pains me" says Ramana. (Vaartha… 6 May, 2006)
7. Ropeway proposal cleared by TTD:
The proposal of constructing a ropeway from Alipiri to Tirumala Hills to facilitate tourist is cleared by the TTD Board. The Board allocated two acres of land to the Tourism Department constructing the Agama advisory committee. Thus way is cleared for the Ropeway. (Eenadu Daily)
8. Govt. covets Balaji's wealth – attempts afoot to divert Rs. 500 crore:
The Government is eying the huge funds of Lord Venkateswara to finance its popularly schemes. It is trying to divert Rs. 500 crore of TTD funds to deposit in Irrigation Bonds. In the past Government passed some statutes to prevent such diversion of TTD funds. The present Government seeks to change those statutes. The Government proposes to change the name of "Hindu Religious Endowment" to "Religious Endowment" to remove hurdles to its proposed diversion of TTD funds. (Eenadu Daily)
9. Surveillance on non-Hindu religious propaganda on Tirumla surroundings – E.O.:
The EO of TTD Mr. APVN Sarma said that as per rule 196 of TTD Act, no other religious propaganda is allowed within 10.33 Sq miles area of the Kshetram. As per rule 197, those who reside in Tirumala Kshetram and those who work for TTD must be Hindus by religion, he said. (Vaartha… 12 April, 2006)
Note : The total area covered by the seven hills collectively called Tirumala are Seshachala, Vedachala, Garudachala, Anjanachala, Vrushabhachala, Narayanachala, Venkatachala, is about 100 Sq.miles (250sq.kms). whereas the Rural Development Department of Panchayatraj's prohibits non-Hindu religious propaganda only in that area. Why so?
1. Anti Hindu propaganda on Simhachalam – Villagers Oppose: Religious conversion is carried on surreptitiously on Simhachalam Temple vicinity. Some persons belonging to a foreign religion have been conduction evangelism among the tribal area of Simhachalam and other localities for four days a week. They are carrying religious conversions not only among the tribals but also among the devotees visiting the Simhachalam Temple. (Andhra Jyothi…. 9 May, 2006)
2. Anti Hindu Posters in Bhadrachalam Ramalyam: The Temple authorities are perturbed to find posters propagating are (non-Hindu) religion within the Rama Temple premises. On the festival occasion of Hanumat Jayanthi, devotees gathered in huge numbers found these obnoxious posters and informed the temple authorities.