Source: Hindu Press International/Thaindian
The Chidambaram Nataraja temple is embroiled in a controversy following differences of opinion between two sects over over a temple festival, priests said here Friday. Trouble arose when adherents of the Vaishnavite sect obtained permission to celebrate the annual festival of the Govindarajaswamy (Vishnu) shrine located inside the Nataraja temple between May 16 and 25 from the government-controlled Hindu Religious and Cultural Endowments department. The Vaishnavite leaders claimed they were being prevented from practicing their belief.
Venkatesha Dikshitar, a Shaivite priest, told IANS that it was a "mischievous move" by department to gain control over the privately run temple. "Though there is a Vishnu shrine inside the precincts of the Shiva temple, its flagstaff cannot be used for any festival other than those authorized by us. Any attempt on the part of the government to challenge our control by authorizing a festival not confirming to our rules will be opposed by us," Dikshitar said.