Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Faces Backlash for Participation in Christmas Celebration Funded by Hindu Temple Allocations
Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Faces Backlash for Participation in Christmas Celebration Funded by Hindu Temple Allocations

Chennai: The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department in the Dravidian Model government has sparked controversy by organizing Christmas celebrations with funds allocated for Hindu temples. The event, held at Perambur Don Bosco School within Chief Minister MK Stalin’s Kolathur assembly segment, has drawn attention for its unconventional use of resources designated for Hindu religious purposes.

Critics argue that the government’s secular stance should apply to all religions without singling out one, especially as Chief Minister Stalin has faced criticism for not extending greetings to Hindus during their festivals. Stalin defended the move during the function, praising HR and CE Minister Sekar Babu for organizing the event. Stalin highlighted the Dravidian Model government’s commitment to unity and harmony among diverse communities, emphasizing its dedication to secularism and communal harmony. He stated, “This is a Dravidian Model government. We are all brothers and remain united. But certain elements (without naming BJP) are unable to digest the same.”

After cutting a Christmas cake at the event, Stalin reiterated the DMK’s commitment to unity, stating, “In our Dravidian Model of government, people of all sects are living in peace and harmony. A certain group (an oblique reference to BJP) does not like it and is desperate to stop it. They can’t win in this soil even after several years.”


Critics question the state’s commitment to secularism and equal treatment of all religions, as the use of Hindu temple funds for a Christmas celebration raises concerns. The high-profile event, attended by Chief Minister Stalin, HR and CE Minister Sekar Babu, Chennai Mayor Priya, Bommapuram Mutt head Balaiah, bishops, and Christian fathers, has particularly drawn criticism against Stalin for not extending wishes to Hindus during their festivals.

Sekar Babu, the HR and CE Minister, has faced prior controversies, including criticism for not intervening when Udayanidhi Stalin made derogatory remarks about Hinduism. Currently, the High Court has reserved orders on Quo Warranto petitions filed against Sekar Babu, Udhaya Nidhi, and DMK MP A Raja.

Despite court strictures against spending temple funds for non-religious purposes, the HR and CE department, under Dravidian regimes, appears to disregard these directives. The use of temple funds for Christmas celebrations has led to discontent among Hindu devotees, who see it as a misuse of resources, especially amid recent hikes in temple entrance fees, making access financially burdensome for the less privileged.

Critics argue that the one-sided approach to secularism, coupled with the deteriorating infrastructure and maintenance of Hindu temples under the HR and CE department, highlights disparities in financial assistance and raises questions about minority appeasement.

A viral WhatsApp post questioning the government’s priorities draws parallels between the allocation of funds for a Christian family after a bore well incident and Chief Minister Stalin’s participation in Christmas celebrations while flood-affected areas struggle with recovery.

Udhayanidhi Stalin’s public declaration of pride in being a Christian and his previous remarks about wanting the destruction of Sana tana dharma (Hinduism) have added to the controversy. Critics argue that such statements are divisive, and Udhayanidhi made the statement during the Christmas celebrations organized by HR and CE.

In response to the controversy, posters have emerged in Palani, a sacred town for Lord Muruga, urging DMK representatives not to seek votes in the area. The posters express discontent with the DMK’s perceived insult to Hindu gods and call Palani a Punya Bhoomi (sacred land) of Lord Muruga.

The HR and CE department’s callousness was further underscored by an incident during the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival, where the ancient Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar temple in Aaalyapuram near Pennagaram witnessed the fall of deity idols on the ground. The incident raised concerns about the dereliction of duty in handling temple idols.

As tensions rise, the controversy has reignited the debate on the role of religion in the functioning of the state and the appropriate use of religious funds. It remains to be seen how the Dravidian Model government will address the concerns raised by various quarters regarding the allocation and utilization of funds designated for religious purposes.

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