Hyderabad: The Chief priest of Chilkur Balaji temple CS Rangarajan sparks a row by saying if any devotee wished him ‘Happy New Year’ in the temple premises on January 1, 2018, he would punish the devotee.
He said that “it is ridiculous for temples to spend money on January 1 to decorate them, as it has nothing to do with the Hindu religion. Observing New Year is against Hinduism and asked Hindus to observe Ugadi, the Telugu New Year.”
According to a TOI report, Priests from various temples in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been spreading the message among the devout to celebrate only Telugu New Year — Ugadi. They have also made it clear that January 1 is an ‘English new year’ and celebrating it is against Telugu ethos and customs.
#ChilkurBalaji temple in #Hyderabad have cautioned devotees against celebrating the #EnglishNewYear 2018,
You will have to do six sit-ups as atonement if you wish temple priests on January 1, said hereditary priest #Rangarajan #ChilkurBalajiTemple#WishYouHappyEnglishNewYear pic.twitter.com/ysnfB7ubSH
— Life In Hyderabad – లైఫ్ ఇన్ హైదరాబాద్ (@LifeInHyd_India) December 28, 2017
The video of his warning gone viral and gained a lot of traction on social media. People started commenting on the issue of New Year celebrations.
Actor Mahesh Kathi, who has lot of followers on Facebook and Twitter, joined the debate and criticised the priest’s statement.
అల్లుడు అమెరికా. కొడుకు ఆస్ట్రేలియా. డబ్బుల డాలర్లు కావాలి. క్యాలెండర్ మాత్రం వైదికం కావాలి. సనాతన ధర్మాన్ని ఇతగాడు రక్షించేస్తాడు. అదీ గుంజిళ్ళు తీయించి. షేమ్ షేమ్! pic.twitter.com/9FBi48rupE
— Mahesh Kathi (@MaheshhKathi) December 27, 2017
“Why can’t we be progressive and celebrate New Year on January 1? Hindu religion is so broad that nothing happens to its culture if we celebrate January 1. Why should we be afraid of Western culture? Are we so insecure?” he argued.