Sunday, November 30, 2014

Periya Nambi Acharya fights for the Vaishnavite cause

Depicting the sacred ‘Thiruman’ in poor light draws flak from revered Acharya
Narasimha Gopalan of Mannar Koil files a petition with the Madurai High Court to restrain derogatory use of the word ‘Naamam’ in public places
In many homes, Vadivelu’s ‘Pathu’ Mami joke in the tamil movie Arasu would have evoked loud cheer but for one revered Vaishnavite Acharya at the Periya Nambi Thirumaligai in Mannar Koil, near Ambasamudram, the heart boiled.

PS Narasimha Gopalan, Archakar, Kulasekara Perumal Rajagopalaswamy Temple in Mannar Koil  ( and a revered Acharya of the centuries old Periya Nambi Peetam found this to be the ultimate insult to the Vaishnavite culture and he lost no time in raising his hand to fight for the Vaishnavite cause.

Over several centuries, a Vaishnavite was seen as an embodiment of learning and simplicity and was seen as one who upholds the true ‘values’ of life. However, over the last 60years or so, Vaishanavism and Vaishnavites have come to be a staple food for fun making so much so that Naamam and Cheating have come to be seen as synonyms.

Naamam stands for the 12different names of Lord Vishnu. Thiruman in literal terms means (sacred) ‘sand’ (ash) referring to the fact that Vaishnavites forever are at/below the Lord’s feet seeking his divine blessings to Moksham.

With an emergence of a new political class, Naamam has come to be used freely in cases relating to cheating. This has now come to be a laughing stock  even in Tamil movies as seen in the film ‘Arasu’ where comedian Vadivelu uses the Thiruman comically as a healing solution for an old lady who was unwell ( Pattu Mami becoming Pathu Mami!!!).

Narasimha Gopalan who took up the entire organisational aspects of renovating the huge Mannar Koil a few years back ( it now wears a beautiful new look) and who has created a beautiful Nandavanam inside the temple complex almost from scratch has now taken this cause and filed a petition in the Madurai High Court this week.

Three Notices to DGP – TN
Way back in 2008, Narasimha Gopalan had written to the DGP- TN to issue instructions restricting those organising protests and agitations in public places from verbally misusing Naamam or symbolically gesturing in a way to indicate being cheated. This did not elicit any response from the DGP, except that he was called for an enquiry at the police station in Ambasamudram.

In 2012, he once again sent a similar request letter to the DGP-TN. This too did not get the desired response. For a third time, in July this year, he sent a notice to the DGP-TN. Simultaneously, Narasimha Gopalan Acharya also wrote to the Regional Officer of the Censor Board to restrain them from permitting scenes in movies that are derogatory of the Vaishnavite religion.

All of these served as a record of the process he had followed in fighting for justice before reaching out to the highest court in the state.

According to Article 25 read with Section 295 and Section 295A of the IPC, making fun of any religion or looking down upon any religion and its faiths and beliefs tantamount to a criminal offence.
In a bid to preserve our heritage and culture, Periya Nambi Narasimha Gopalan has taken to court to secure justice for the Vaishnavites. He has pleaded with the court to direct the Home Secretary, DGP-TN and the Regional Officer of the Censor Board to issue instructions in public interest restraining the use of Thiruman/Naamam in a derogatory way and to inform the public that this will be seen as criminal offence and relevant action will be taken against those disobeying the instructions.

The Honourable Judge of the Madurai High Court has directed the division bench to look into the matter. This is likely to come up for hearing sometime in December. A copy of the derogatory comedy scene in Arasu and the song ‘excuse me Mr. Kandaswamy’ in the movie Kandaswamy has been handed over to the High court as conclusive proof of Tamil cinemas depicting Vaishnavism in a poor light.  

Centuries ago, Periya Nambi had fought even the strongest of the Chozha Kings without any fear and Narasimha Gopalan, a descendent of that great clan believes that this is no social service that he is doing and it is his inherent duty and responsibility to protect our rich traditions. He has almost 4000 disciples who are staunch followers of Vaishnavite traditions!!!

There are three Periya Nambi Thirumaligais in Tamil Nadu – Srirangam, Thirukurungudi and at Mannar Koil, near Ambasamudram, that is stated to be 900years old.

He has more coming his sleeve in the coming years on matters relating to keeping our traditions alive including one relating to Bhattars of TN temples. Watch out for this section for more on that.

In the meantime, one will await judgement on this filing from the division bench of the Madurai High Court.

Narasimha Gopalan can be reached on 04634 318408 /


Anonymous said...

Interesting read. We must appreciate his determination and strong will.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Initiative.

Anonymous said...

We should appreciate him for his efforts.

He has taken up our cause and done what we all have failed to do.

Anonymous said...

Thirumalaiswamy Ramanujadasan, Coimbatore,09382730194, protesters degrading THIRUMAN in Viruthunagar we Complained to CM CELL Viruthunagar West Police Station hve booked a case against 111 persons inclueding 56 Womens & also we complained To PM , Publie Grievances for degrading THIRUMAN in serials & Advertisements.Swami we will sent all details through e.mail.Waiting for your reply