Temple priests honour DMK leader Stalin

By PTI Published on Jun 23, 2018 10:36 AM IST

Tiruchirappalli: DMK Working President M K Stalin, an avowed rationalist, made a stopover here yesterday to accept the traditional 'Poornakhumba,' honour by priests of the ancient Sri Ranganathaswamy temple here.

Stalin, on his way to attend a family function of a party functionary at Srirangam, stopped in front of the "Ranga Ranga" tower on the south side of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple.

A team of waiting priests recited hymns with 'poornakhumbam' on their hands and offered him 'manjal kappu' (turmeric paste) prasad of goddess Ranganayaki which he accepted. He was also given fruits and a shawl.

A smiling DMK leader also accepted a garland from an elephant brought in to honour him to the accompaniment of traditional music (nadaswaram, a wind instrument and others).

Poornakhumbam is considered a honour in Hindu ethos since special prayers are made, seeking divine blessings for the recipient. The DMK leader, though, did not enter the temple. Priests and other temple staffers were given dhotis and some cash on his behalf as a mark of respect.

Though DMK has traditionally claimed itself to be a outfit following atheistic principles, opposing aspects like rituals of Hinduism, the party had softened its stand to an extent during the days of party founder C N Annadurai.

Called 'Anna' affectionately, the DMK founder had famously quoted Shaivite saint Thirumoolar's 'Ondrey Kulam Oruvaney Devan,' (There is only one God and clan) dictum to nurture harmony.

After Karunanidhi's controversial comments in his decades long political career at the expense of Hindu faith (like "was Lord Ram an engineer to design the Sethusamudram bridge?" made in 2009), Stalin, through several gestures, has sought to smooth ruffled feathers of the community.

He had said in 2015 that his party was not anti-Hindu. That year, he and his wife Durga had visited the famous Vaishnavite shrine of Sri Sowmya Narayanaswamy temple at Thirukoshtiyur in Sivaganga District.

Early this year, Stalin had also said that DMK did not believe in criticising the private religious beliefs of people, whether it was Hinduism or any other faith.