Atheist CM Karunanidhi sidesteps jinxed temple entrance | india | Hindustan Times
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Atheist CM Karunanidhi sidesteps jinxed temple entrance

The atheist in Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi (85) can be vulnerable before something that is said to portend bad omen. KV Lakshmana reports.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2010 10:05 IST
KV Lakshmana

The atheist in Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi (85) can be vulnerable before something that is said to portend bad omen.

That’s why on Saturday, when he went to visit Thanjavur's 10th century Lord Ishwara (Shiva) temple to attend a government-sponsored function, he avoided entering through the main entrance on the east and took the southern door instead.

Why? The local belief is that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in October 1984 just a few weeks after she visited the temple and took the eastern entrance.

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister M.G. Ramachandran became sick after taking the same gate and did not recover.

He died in December 1987. From then the superstition grew that the east gate (not the temple, however) had destructive miraculous powers.

Raja Bhonsle, hereditary trustee of the temple, was dismissive about it. "Why should God punish anyone for entering the temple," he asked.

Karunanidhi had been to the temple to attend its millennium celebrations, where a large number of Bharatnatyam dancers performed.

Political analyst Cho Ramaswamy is not surprised at this. He said: “He (Karunanidhi) is masquerading as an atheist … he follows the advice of astrologers on auspicious timing … if he has worn a white angavastram (upper cloth) instead of the usual yellow, it must be on someone’s advice that its use would ward off evil.”