The DMK government is sprucing up the state’s shrines and their management—and subtly changing its own image in the process
SCAFFOLDED: Maintenance work at the Arulmigu Varageeswaran temple in Kancheepuram, TN.
T he M.K. Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government is striving to give the state’s temples a makeover and, in the bargain, give itself one too. A massive renovation plan is afoot for Hindu shrines, including the retrieval of encroached land. The state’s Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department, which oversees temple administration in Tamil Nadu, has been issuing eviction notices thick and fast. Budgetary allocations for conservation and creating pilgrim amenities have gone up manifold in the past two years.