In what has led to a major controversy, Telangana Rashtra Samithi President and Telangana CM, K Chandrashekar Rao’s and his party symbol’s images have appeared on the pillars of the famous Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Yadadri. The temple which is ten centuries old, is located at a distance of about 65 km from Hyderabad and is currently undergoing renovation on the lines of Tirumala, the richest temple of the country located in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Renamed as Yadadari, the temple is now being developed as a major pilgrim and tourist spot, on a 14.5 acre land. As a part of this makeover exercise, the images of Telangana movement, history, culture and its famous personalities have been chiseled on all sides of the temple. What has however, led to a major controversy is the carvings of K Chandrashekar Rao’s image along with his party’s election symbol- ‘Car’ on the pillars of the southern side of “asthabhuji prakaram (the compound wall of octangular shape)”. Besides the images of K Chandrashekar Rao and his party’s election symbol, images of his government’s flagship schemes are also being chiseled on the pillars of the temple.
This has led to a major controversy with the Bajrang Dal workers protesting against the controversial move by K Chandrashekar Rao and his party. Subhash, state co-convenor, Bajarang Dal said, “We condemn the act of the Telangana government which is completely objectionable. Chief Minister Rao’s picture, TRS party symbol car and government initiative pictures have been carved on the pillars of historic Yadadri Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple under the pretext of re-construction and development of the temple.” He further stated, “There are around 5,000 symbols carved on the pillars of the temple. CM KCR cannot show himself as a god. This act is not only a direct insult to Hindus but also an insult to the god.” He also demanded that the government “should immediately intervene and remove those carvings on the pillars of the temple because it’s a holy place. If they don’t remove the carvings then, we are going to intensify our protest.”
The only BJP legislator in Telangana, Raja Singh, also criticised the state government over this controversy. He said that if the carvings of the Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao and other politicians were not removed from the pillars of the famous temple within a week, then the state government would be responsible for the consequences that ensue. BJP state chief, K. Laxman, also said that the Telangana Chief Minister’s move for publicity has hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindu community. He added that the government would have to pay the price for this move.
Chiseling one’s own images on shrines and temples is indeed an unacceptable form of publicity and a gross interference with the beliefs of a religious community. This virtually amounts to equating oneself with Gods and in a country which firmly believes in democratic ethos, this is completely unacceptable. K Chandrashekar Rao and TRS have crossed the line to gain popularity. This kind of publicity was common among the medeival era emperors but such blatant promotion of personality cult does not resonate with today’s democratic era. Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao must realise that he is a public representative and his move does not really augur well with a democratic society. It is upto him now to bring this controversy to an end at the earliest by removing political carvings from the pillars of the temple.