On August 15, a resident of Chennai, Balaji Prem Kumar, raised his voice against the authorities of a temple damaging roads for the construction of a Puja pandal.
Every year, Navaghraga Nayagi temple, situated about 200 metres from Kumar’s home in Mogapair East, Chennai, digs holes in the roads to fix bamboos for a pandal. The construction is done for a one-and-a-half-month long festival, which includes Ganesh Chaturthi.
The pandal is a menace for the residents as it jams traffic for months.
“They also make illegal connections with live wires to steal electricity,” said Kumar to The Logical Indian.
The temple is run by AIADMK politicians, he continued.
On Tuesday morning, Kumar personally went to the temple to request the authorities to not damage roads.
Abuses and threats by local politicians and temple authorities
“They pushed me away, abused and threatened me. They asked me to leave. One person who was digging the road with a crowbar also threatened to lynch me. I immediately called the police,” said Kumar.
In a Facebook post, he wrote that his ‘life was threatened with a crowbar lynching by local goons.’
Today My life was threatened with a crowbar lynching by local goonsகடப்பாரையுடன் ஒரு கொலை மிரட்டல். (தமிழ் மொழிபெயர்ப்…
Posted by Balaji Prem Kumar on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
After the festival, the roads are repaired; thus increasing its level and decreasing the level of the houses.
“A house which is meant to sustain for 60-70 years will lose its foundation in 20-25 years. This is the main reasons why the residents and I wanted the temple to stop the damage,” added Kumar.
When he protested, at least 30-40 people and the police accumulated.
The police directed the temple staff to refrain from building the pandal and the workers left with all the bamboos and crowbars.
“In the evening, about 4-5 people – local politicians, ex-councillor, temple authorities and the man who threatened to lynch me – came to my home. I had made a complaint with the police, the Chennai corporation and the electricity board. They wanted to me withdraw the complaints,” said Kumar.
However, as he refused to withdraw his complaint, the men gave him a deadline of Wednesday 10 am or else face ‘consequences’.
“They threatened to bring a hundred party workers and temple devotees to protest outside my house,” revealed Kumar.
Victory at last
He waited yesterday morning, but as they didn’t show up, Kumar to the police station where he was assured of his safety. When he came back home from office early evening he saw that the pandal was shifted to another location.
“I saw that the pandal was shifted and the road was not damaged. They took permission from a private citizen who allowed them to use his land for the construction,” said Kumar.
He made a Facebook post of the same:
Victory guys on the temple issue.Corporation , EB and police rejected the permission to damage the road , since I have…
Posted by Balaji Prem Kumar on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
“I do not want to proceed further with the complaint as my demand was made,” he added.
The Logical Indian community salutes Balaji Prem Kumar’s determination and courage for standing up against what was wrong. Even when he was threatened and abused, he didn’t give up. He is an inspiration to many and an example of what can be achieved if we stand our ground and do not cave into the demands of those in a position of authority.