A temple thirteen centuries old; Inscriptions on stone portraying a history of centuries; deities that have been sung about in the ancient - and still living - literature of the language and being worshiped even today and a temple situated in the capital of the state. What is the image that strikes your mind of a renovation of such a temple by an organization purportedly in charge of maintaining temples? Experts handling the process with a delicate care to ensure that the temple retains its original look of antiquity or construction workers uprooting sculptures and destroying inscriptions in a bid to tile the interiors?
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department, which is in charge of temples, does not, purportedly, even have the authority to disturb the sanctum sanctorum but has given scant regard to the limits of its authority as per News reports. As for the expertise they bring to the table, scores of temples across Tamil Nadu bear sufficient witness as per this report in The Hindu.
The specific instance of this temple in Chennai has also been covered by a Tamil newspaper here. Whether any of this will have even a minimal impact on the activities remains to be seen but remaining silent was no longer an option for me.
Yes, this country has a variety of current problems and, to many, they may seem more important than this. For me, however, no person can be grounded in his self unless he has a respect for where he comes from. If the foundations of that respect will be destroyed and we start disrespecting ourselves as a people - as we show by disrespecting our history, there can be no salvation for us as a Nation.