KCR gets his images carved on pillars of Yadadri Temple, sparks controversy
The 1,000-year old temple at Yadagirigutta, located at about 65 km from Hyderabad, is being given a complete makeover on the lines of Tirumala, the richest temple of the country, which had gone to Andhra Pradesh after bifurcation.Updated: Sep 06, 2019 23:41 IST
The inscription of Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s picture on a pillar of the famous Hindu shrine of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at Yadadri has sparked a controversy on Friday.
The 1,000-year old temple at Yadagirigutta, located at about 65 km from Hyderabad, is being given a complete makeover on the lines of Tirumala, the richest temple of the country, which had gone to Andhra Pradesh after bifurcation.
Renamed as Yadadri, the temple is now being developed as a major pilgrim and tourist centre on a 14.5 acre land on the hillock at a whopping cost of Rs 1800 crore.
The renovated temple will be thrown open for pilgrims in February 2020, when the Telangana chief minister is planning to perform a Maha Sudharshana Yagnam, the mother of all yagnams, by inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others including Vaishnavite seers from across the country.
As part of giving a makeover to the temple, KCR is getting the images of Telangana movement, history, culture and its famous personalities chiselled on the pillars on all sides of the temple, on the lines of kings of medieval India, who got their contemporary history and lifestyle chiselled on the walls and pillars of various temples they had constructed, besides inscriptions on stone sheets.
What triggered the controversy was the carving of images of KCR and that of his party’s election symbol, car, on the pillars on the southern side of “asthabhuji prakaram” (Octagonal compound wall). Besides KCR, images of his government’s pet schemes are also being chiselled on the pillars and walls.
As the images of KCR, his party’s election symbol and his schemes on the temple premises appeared in local media, opposition parties raised a hue and cry. “How can KCR dare to get his images chiselled on the temple walls? Is he trying to portray himself as a demi-god of Telangana?” asked Telangana PCC leader G Narayan Reddy.
He said the expansion of the Yadadri temple is being done with public money and not with the personal wallet of KCR. “He must realise that he is just a public representative and not a king. No one can tamper with the sanctity of temples and equate themselves with Gods,” he said.
PCC working president A Revanth Reddy said KCR had hurt the sentiments of crores of Hindus by getting his picture and that of his election symbol car on the temple walls. “He is obviously promoting a personality cult in Telangana and projecting himself as an emperor who had built temples,” he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s lone legislator T Raja Singh expressed annoyance at KCR for projecting his personal image on the religious structures. “Temples are not places for political propaganda. The chief minister should immediately get his images and the party symbols erased from the pillars. Else, Hindus know how to do that job,” he threatened.
BJP Telangana spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao said, “With an unprecedented greed for political legacy, KCR has desecrated ‘Yadadri’ temple and under any circumstances, BJP will not allow these carvings on the walls of Yadadri temple”.
He alleged that KCR had stooped to an abysmal low for petty political expediency like no one in the history of Indian politics. “Etching his own image, other political leaders images, party symbols, government schemes on a Hindu temple pillars is an unforgivable act,” he said.
When contacted, senior TRS leader Palla Rajeshwar Reddy said there were no specific instructions from the state government on inscribing the images of either the chief minister or the car symbol on the temple pillars and walls. “We shall look into the context of such inscriptions and take corrective measures. In any case, there is nothing for the parties to politicize it,” Reddy said.