Monday, November 5, 2018

Lakshmi Narasimhan quits Srirangam Madapalli

Citing shoulder problem, he had taken leave of absence for a few days in early September but has not returned to the Madapalli till date and has not communicated his whereabouts and activities to the temple authorities for over a month
Lakshmi  Narasimhan ( Venkatapathy) had said that he had given his entire last earnings from the IT firm to the Ramanuja Trust Mission whose Managing Trustee Chaturvedi has come under the police scanner today and who is stated to have 'gone missing')

Srivatsan, the  first entrant from the IT industry to the Srirangam Madapalli has now convinced a corporate executive from the Amalgamations Group to join him at the Madapalli
The issues relating to HR & CE not providing adequate appointments in temples has come to the fore again, this time at the Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam. It has been almost two years since Srivatsan quit a lucrative career in the IT industry to join the Madapalli at the Srirangam temple. Several months later Lakshmi Narasimhan too joined him at the Madapalli. Despite continuous reminders to the Joint Commissioner Pon Jayaraman over the last year or so, the two had remained on contract service with Sambhavanai coming from Venu Srinivasan, also the Chairman, the Board of  Trustees of the temple.

The vacancies have existed for long but the HR & CE has refused to fill in the slots, leaving private individuals and trusts to fund even the most important service personnel in terms of monthly remuneration.

Not informed the JC
With Lakshmi Narasimhan ( remaining absent for almost two months now from the Madapalli, the Joint Commissioner of the temple has been clueless on his absence repeatedly confirming  over a two month period that he has had a shoulder problem and that he would be back at the Madapalli in the next few days. With Lakshmi Narasimhan not being a HR & CE appointee, it is difficult for the JC to even question such absence. Nor is there a responsibility on the part of the personnel (in this case- Lakshmi Narasimhan) to update the JC for they are not a HR & CE appointed staffers.

Notwithstanding this issue of lack of a permanent appointment order from the HR & CE to the new entrants at the Madapalli, the general view at the temple has been one of extreme disappointment about the way Lakshmi Narasimhan has quit the Madapalli under the pretext of a shoulder problem after having informed the top authorities that he would return in a few days. The wait has continued for two months with no sign of return as rumours have started spreading across the service personnel at the temple on the whereabouts of Lakshmi Narasimhan.

Even as of last Monday, Pon Jayaraman continued to hold his previously stated position of Lakshmi Narasimhan having a shoulder problem and that he was likely to return soon, this a full two months after he left the Madapalli. Other Personnel who have known Lakshmi Narasimhan during the period of his stint at the temple say that he has joined a service organization and has been at work there. And that he has been in Madras during the period of his absence from the temple.

How is it that a person who expressed dedication of his life and service to the Lord of Srirangam has not been at the temple even once over the two month period even if the shoulder is not alright. Could he not come and enquire as to how the Madapalli was functioning in his absence, since it is only a shoulder problem. Since he had said that he was mentoring the Madapalli team, could he not have come and mentored them on important utsavams, more so when his sole intention in life was to be of service to the Lord at the Srirangam temple.

During the first eight months of the year, the temple authorities had supported him / the madapalli like never before, listening to his complaints and taking corrective action possible at every instance.

Senior authorities at the temple said that his family wanted him back, away from the temple, and that was the reason he had quit the Madapalli and that he has not been in touch since the initial piece of communication ( i.e for almost two months now) and that there has not been even a single message with an update on his health, the treatment he was taking and the timing of his recovery during this period of well over a month.

Updated on Nov 10- Lakshmi Narasimhan (Venkatapathy) had said that he had given his entire last earnings from the IT firm to the Ramanuja Trust Mission whose Managing Trustee Chaturvedi has come under the police scanner today and who is stated to have 'gone missing')

Traditional way at Madapalli
In the period that Lakshmi Narasimhan was at the Madapalli, he had shaken the entire place instilling a sense of tradition there. Having come from the IT industry, he was very high on communication and kept the Joint Commissioner updated on every development and new initiatives at the Madapalli almost on a daily basis, with the JC acting immediately on his recommendations, offering full support to Lakshmi Narasimhan on the transformation of the Madapalli back to the old traditional ways. If this were so, it is quite shocking that there has been no communication between the two over the last two months.

After having stated, to this writer, a devotional long intent of serving the Madapalli, Lakshmi Narasimhan is said to have quit the Madapalli in quite mysterious circumstances with no one in the temple aware of his whereabouts in the two months that has passed. 

Since September, the Joint Commissioner Pon Jayaraman has held that Lakshmi Narasimhan has a shoulder problem and that he is undergoing recuperation and was likely to be back soon. He had told the time keeper of the temple in September at the time of leaving that he would be away for 3 days.

Contrary to what Lakshmi Narasimhan had told the Manian, JC informed in September that Lakshmi Narasimhan would be away for 15 days and that he would be back after a leave of a fortnight. A month later, Pon Jayaraman stuck to the same position that Lakshmi Narasimhan would be back soon.

In a face to face meeting last Monday, Pon Jayaraman after almost 2 months of Lakshmi Narasimhan’s absence still stuck to the same stated position that he was recovering from his shoulder problem and that it was likely that he would be back soon!!1

Various service personnel in the temple directly involved with or connected to the Madapalli in terms of daily activity had different and varying account of the current scenario with a few saying that they heard that he was working elsewhere.

Even Head Archakar not clued in
In a telephonic conversation with this writer just a fortnight ago, the Head Archakar of the temple Murali Bhattar asked me to check with Lakshmi Narasimhan on a particular issue specifically relating to the Madapalli when the latter had not reported to work for almost 45 days, making one wonder if even the Head Archakar was not clued in on the real status. It seemed he too was under the impression that Lakshmi Narasimhan was still in service.

Lakshmi Narasimhan and his interest in Jeer Post
A few months ago, after the death of Ranganatha Jeer, Lakshmi Narasimhan had expressed officially interest to the temple authorities in the post of the Jeer. Both at the time of me writing the story on IT to Madapalli as well as at the time of his expression of interest to take up the post of Jeer, it was clear that he had taken the permission of his family on this front, both relating to the Madapalli as well as his interest in the Jeer’s post, for how else can one officially express his intent to be a Jeer without letting go of the family. 

The temple did not seem to consider his interest in the Jeer's post in a positive way.

One of the official views from the temple authorities is that 'family pressure' has taken him away the temple service and that he was not likely to return anymore to the Madapalli service. In any case, he was not an appointee of the temple (by the HR & CE).

During the period of his stint at the Srirangam temple, he had shaken up the entire place pushing everyone to do things as per the traditions and had the entire service personnel at the temple on their toes. Even the slightest deviation by anyone from the traditions would immediately be brought to the notice of the authorities by Lakshmi Narasimhan. At that time, he was in constant touch directly with JC Pon Jayaraman, sometimes almost on a daily basis updating him both the positives and the challenges at the Madapalli. In light of such communication, it is shocking that the JC has stuck to the same stated position for two months.

Madapalli driven by Venu Srinivasan's Sambhavanai!!!
It is one thing for Venu Srinivasan and his trust to provide Sambavanai to secured HR & CE staffers who perform service at the temple. But it is quite another for his contribution to be the only source of monthly income, as in the case of Srivatsan now and Lakshmi Narasimhan earlier (it is another matter that Lakshmi Narasimhan had held through the time of his service that he had completely let go of financial interests in life and that his only way forward was to serve the Lord with the utmost devotion and that nothing else mattered to him in life).

A new entrant joins Madapalli from Amalgamation Group
Meanwhile in a separate development, unconnected with the above, Srivatsan (photo below), the first entrant from the IT industry to the Madapalli at Srirangam, has quietly continued his devotional way of service and has also roped in another corporate executive from Madras into the Madapalli, once again on Sambhavanai terms.
He has managed to pursue a corporate executive in his 40s to join the Madapalli. Venkatesan, the new entrant again on TVS Sambhavanai, who has had over two decades of experience in a traditional industry and worked for the Amalgamations Group in Madras has quit his job and has been at the Srirangam Madapalli for a month now.

Venkatesan says that it took a lot of constant persuasion from Srivatsan over a period of time for him to take this big decision to move away from the corporate life in Madras to full time service at the Madapalli.

Srivatsan’s case of temple appointment is still pending with the HR & CE. It is not known as to when he will receive the confirmation order from the HR & CE. The JC has over the last one year repeatedly said that it will all happen very soon / within the next month or two but here too the stated position on the appointment has remained unchanged over a long period of time leaving Srivatsan wondering if he would get the appointment order that would provide the much needed security to him in terms of his service at the temple.

Lakshmi Narasimhan’s presence at the Madapalli was a big driver for the transformation there for he was vocal and brought about traditional changes. If he is not to come back, it will be a setback for the temple. What however is disappointing is his lack of communication to the temple authorities on his long absence from service. His sudden disappearance and the completed absence of updates to the Chairman, Board of Trustees, who provided the Sambhavanai ( Salary) to Lakshmi Narasimhan does not seem to be in line with his repeated communication of dedicating his life in service to the Lord at the Srirangam temple.

It is hoped that Srivatsan will continue with the transformation of the traditional way of service at the madapalli that he has been undertaking for the last two years. And it is also hoped that Pon Jayaraman will initiate the process of providing both Srivatsan and Venkatesan with the official service appointment order from the HR & CE.      

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