Tirupati Declaration: Hindus of the world unite

source: Newstoday, July 18,2006


        With Hinduism under siege from various
quarters, it was time for a show of unity and purpose. And that is what was
witnessed at the historic meeting of Tirumala Tirupati Samrakshana Samiti (TTSS)
at Tirupati Saturday last.

        The meeting’s purpose was simple
and straightforward ? to show in no uncertain terms the protest against the
rampant and brazen evangelical activities in Tirupati and Tirmula by Christian

        Led by the two most respectable
and revered sawmijis in our midst today, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Vishveshwara
Theertha Swami of Pejawar Mutt, the meeting, made a clarion call against the
sinister attempts at proselytization by the missionaries and adopted the historical
Tirupati Declaration.

        The following are the three cardinal
Articles of this Historic Declaration:

        I) We Hindus assembled here declare
that we do not support, directly or indirectly, any group, institution, religion,
media, or political force, which preaches, practices or works against Hindu
dharma in this country.

        ii) We appeal to all the Hindus
in this country and elsewhere to subscribe to and support this declaration,
the Tirupathi declaration.

        iii) We want all the Hindu religious
endowments to be managed by Hindu bodies, and not by the government. We want
the secular government to release all religious endowments from its hold.

        In addition to the above declarations,
the following resolutions were also adopted unanimously:

        a) Immediate action must be taken
to bring under TTD control over 250 sq. kilometre area covering various Theerthams
closely associated with the legend of Lord Venkateswara as against the 27.5
sq. kilometres under Andhra Pradesh Government order (G.O.) No.338. In this
context, they quoted Mackenzie’s manuscript of the year 1801 as per which the
Seven Hills extended up to the Swarnamukhi River near Sri Kalahasti in the east,
Nagapatala Devarakonda in the west, Yerraguntla Thota in Rayachoti Taluk in
the north and Pillari Kanuma near Narayana Vanam in the south. Such a law would
ward off any threat of non-Hindu activities on the Seven Hills.

        b) Only Hindus by law should
be made eligible for appointment in TTD Service.

        c) Andhra Pradesh Government
should immediately give up its plans to convert Tirumala into a luxury tourist

        d) There should be a legal ban
on all non-Hindu activities in TTD. medical and educational institutions.

        e) TTD funds should be used only
for Hindu spiritual activities.

        f) The Dharma Prachara Parishad
should be renamed as Hindu Dharma Prachara Parishad.

        Speaking on the prohibition of non-Hindu
appointments in TTD, the Swamijis urged that immediate steps should be taken
to deport 40 Christian employees and other non-Hindus at Tirumala.

        The Swamijis alleged that the TTD’s
medical and educational institutions have become centres of proselytisation
by non-Hindus. They demanded that the Devastanam should punish those non-Hindus
indulging in such evangelical activities and identify the TTD and State Government
Officials encouraging them directly or indirectly and to transfer them from
Tirupati forthwith.

        The TTSS also charged TTD with diverting
devotees’ offerings to other activities owing to Government political pressure.
‘These offerings made by Hindu devotees were meant for running temples, conducting
religious festivals and providing pilgrim amenities and propagating Hindu Dharma.
They are not meant for the evangelization programmes of Andhra Pradesh Government
under a Christian Chief Minister,’ they said.

        The TTSS also expressed its deep
concern over the increase in evangelical activities at Tirumala and Tirupati
and cited the documentary evidence adduced by the Five Member Fact Finding Committee
appointed by the Pontiff of Pejawar with Justice Bikshapathi, former High Court
Judge as its head.

        The meet also cited High Court Ruling
which said: ‘The rights of Tirumala-Tirupati vest with Lord Venkateswara himself
and the Trust Board and the EO are only trustees of the property. None can take
any measures violating the right. All the Seven Hills fall under Tirumala (W.P.
No. 26145 of 1996-97(2) and 59 (DB) dated 7.9.1996).

        In conclusion, Pejawar Swamiji categorically
told media persons that the Members of the TTSS fervently hope that their legitimate
demand would be acted upon before 9 August, 2006 and that further action by
the TTSS would be decided after ascertaining the nature, intention and direction
of Government response.

        A host of other influential Swamijis
from different parts of India including Varada Ramanuja Jeeyar from Uttar Pradesh
and Members of the Tirupati Fact Finding Committee, T S Rao, former Director
General of Police, R. Srihari, former Vice Chancellor of the Dravidian University,
Krishniah, State Backward Classes Welfare Leader and other prominent persons
also attended the meeting. Several thousand Devotees deeply concerned about
the need for protecting the Seven Hills and the Tirupati Temple joined in in
the call.

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