The HR&CE department has not prevented temples from performing any special pujas, abhishekams, archanai or chanting on the occasion of Ram temple consecration on January 22, the Minister of Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department P.K. Sekar Babu.
In a statement released on X, Mr. Sekar Babu went on to call any such news “a planned rumor” being spread to divert the DMK Youth Conference, which is going on in full swing in Salem.
His statement came only a few hours after Union Finance Minister alleged on social media that the Tamil Nadu government has banned watching live telecast of the consecration ceremony. In her post, Ms. Sitharaman also alleged that in temples managed by the HR&CE Ministry, “no puja/bhajan/prasadam/annadanam in the name of Shri Ram is allowed. Police are stopping privately held temples also from organising events.”
Directly addressing, Ms. Sitharaman, Mr. Sekar Babu said that it is regrettable that people in a high position, like the Union Finance Minister, are spreading false information.
According to officials, temples including the Erikatharamar Temple in Maduranthakam and Sri Kothandaramaswamy temple in Ayodhyapattanam in Salem district have lined up special pujas. At Madhuranthakam, special puja will be held and prasadam will be distributed. At the Salem temple, where Lord Rama is seen seated in Pattabhishekam pose with Sita Devi, Lakshmana and Hanuman, after the Puja, bhajans will be held.
“These are internal matters of temples in which the department does not interfere,” an official source told The Hindu. Officials have only been orally instructed not to permit viewing of the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishta at Ayodhya on TV inside the temple premises. “This could lead to unnecessary complications and also disturb other devotees in the temple,” said the official source.