Tirupati Balaji temple: On Saturday, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) chairman, YV Subba Reddy has stated that Non-Hindus visitors visiting the hill shrine need not declare their faith to be able to enter the temple.
Many famous personalities give a declaration
The new statement is a reversal of the temple decades-old rule that every Non-Hindu visitors wanting to have darshan of the lord must declare their faith before entering the temple. And because of this rule of the temple, the former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam signed this declaration of faith. Controversy followed when Congress chief Sonia Gandhi visited the temple.
Foreigners who want to visit the temple declared their faith in the Lord before entering the temple.
Former in charge officers kept the rule in place
On July 26, 2012, KS Sreenivasa Raju, who was the in-charge of pilgrim affairs and was then a joint executive officer had made it cleared people belonging to other castes and faiths to have to declare their faith in the Lord to be able to have Darshan of Balaji. He announced this while placing the declaration forms at all temple offices and inquiry offices for the convenience of such non-Hindu visitors.
After a few months, then a joint executive officer, LV Subrahmanyam announced that the tilak is a must for all the devotees and employees in the hill shrine.
The TTD Chairman’s new statement is protested by different sections. Former government chief secretary IYR Krishna Rao, who had also served as the TTD executive officer, said the faith declaration rule is not new.
What the old rule state?
The old rule that the Non-Hindu should provide a declaration of faith in lord before entering the temple was introduced in April 1990 through Government Order (GO) No. 311.
According to the order, “The declaration should be presented to the Peishkar, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams or another officer in charge of the temple, who will make some inquiries as he considers right, then he will give permission sought for. On the grant of such permission, the person can be admitted to the temple as any other devotee is admitted.”
As the issue got converted into the controversy, the TTD Chairman Subba Reddy gave his clarification that he has not said that the declaration should be done away with.