The PostCard news had earlier published a series of articles highlighting the the massive corruption, loot that is been taking place in Tirupati temple. Ever since the former head priest Ramana Dikshitulu exposed that the temple has come under the influence of politicians which has resulted in massive loot of centuries old jewels, the entire issue has become a talking point in the country.
As the controversy broke out, the CIC (Central Information Commission) has now posed serious questions to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Culture Ministry, the Andhra Pradesh government and the shrine of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). The CIC questioned “Where were the precious century old jewelleries that were donated to the temple by many Kings.”
Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu in a stern order also asked the Prime Minister’s Office to make public the action contemplated by the Union government to declare Tirumala temples as national monuments and to enforce international obligation to protect the world heritage structures and ornaments. The inquiry was taken up based on a plea by BKSR Ayyangar who demanded the declaration of TTD Tirumala Temples as historical and as national heritage monuments.
Citing a report of Director of Archaeology and Museums, Hyderabad in 2011, the information commissioner pointed out a 20-member team had found that inscriptions engraved on the walls of the Lord Venkateshvara Temple at Tirumala mention ornaments donated by Vijayanagara King Sri Krishna Devaraya. “It is not a wild allegation of the appellant, but a major finding by the director of the Ministry of Culture, which was not acted upon since 2011,” he said.
Ramana Dikshitulu three months back had accused that there was massive impropriety of funds in the temple and is being diverted to unknown sources. He said that the TTD administration had completely lost commitment and was indulging in the misuse of crores of money that the temple received. He also said that some of the ancient jewels which were gifted by Kings and Queens centuries ago have gone missing and the TTD administration had completely ignored the issue.
“It’s unfortunate that we (hereditary priests), who for generations dedicated ourselves to temple service, are so helpless today. Until 1996, we were custodians of the Lord’s jewellery and maintained up-to-date records of the inventory. But, in the 22 years since Andhra government took over the reins, not once has the jewellery count been done. Jewellery donated by kings including the emperor Krishna-devaraya, the Mysore maharajas and those of the Pallava and Chola dynasties could not be found.” Of late, only the newer jewellery is given to adorn the Lord. What happened to the ancient ornaments? An open audit should be done. Digital records should be made for transparency.” The New Indian Express Report
The head priest had slammed the administration on issues such as VIP darshans, shortening of rituals and alleged commercialization of the temple. “The authorities have no respect for traditions or practices as laid down by agamas (vedic scriptures defining traditions and rituals in the temple). This would result in devotees losing faith and lead to catastrophic incidents,” he warned. The New Indian Express Report
Just few days after this massive revelation was made, a shocking report emerged that the missing rarest of rare jewellery which was apparently donated by Mysore Wodeyars was found in the international auction house. The auction of precious jewels was organised by a company called Sotheby’s which is owned by a British person and has its headquarters in New York. This company held an auction festival last December in Geneva in which many artifacts were displayed. One among them was Raj Pink Diamond, which is regarded as the largest fancy intense pink diamond in the world.
The rare Raj Pink diamond is 37.3 carat stone, was displayed in the Sotheby’s auction. But now it is being said that this is the same diamond which is said to have gone missing from Tirupati and belongs to Lord Venkateshwara. The Head Priest Ramana Deekshitulu suspected that the diamond was probably stolen from Tirupati and have been sold to someone for crores of money. (Deccan Chronicle Report)
As the TTD jewellery controversy broke out, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy declared that he will take the matter to court and demand the government and courts to form an independent inquiry committee to investigate the case.
Now, it is the people who will have to put pressure on these corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and authorities who have shamelessly used one of the most ancient temple of India for their greed and played with the sentiments of millions of Hindus. The central governmnet and the courts must take suo moto action against these criminals and bring them to books.