Ayodhya Mandapam: All eyes on April 21

Chennai: Devotees who regularly visit Ayodhya Mandapam, a prayer hall at West Mambalam in Chennai which was recently taken over by the Tamilnadu government, are eagerly waiting for 21 April, when the Madras High Court would hear the appeal filed by Sri Ram Samaj, the society that managed the facility.

Senior advocate Satish Parasaran is representing the samaj. During the last hearing, he insisted that the regular functioning of Ayodhya Mandapam should not be crippled.

To this, advocate A K Sriram, representing the Teynampet Balasubramaniaswamy Temple Executive Officer who had been appointed as the Fit Person of the Samaj, assured the court that the pujas as well as other rituals and festivals would be conducted as usual.

Also, Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram submitted that neither the functioning of Sri Sitaram Vidyalaya Matriculation School nor that of a marriage hall owned by the society would be interrupted in any way by the department.

According to Sathish Parasaran, no religious activities were carried out at the mandapam but only hymns were chanted at a congregation of elderly people. Idols were placed in the mandapam but were not consecrated, he said, and refuted the allegations of mismanagement.

‘We sincerely hope justice prevails and the Mandapam would be given back to Sri Ram Samaj. The government cannot take over a prayer hall,’ said Vishnu, a regular visitor.