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2 Chennai ● Wednesday ● 19 January 2011 DC

Nobel laureate Distribute relief Union minister

Antony Leggett to family of child Narayanasamy
spoke at Institute killed during called on chief
of Mathematical Chennai minister
Sciences. Sangamam. M Karunanidhi.

“The Christian
community in India -
Catholic and Protestant -
have thousands of crores
of rupees worth property
Church assets need protection
and finances of Indian
churches. temporal
Major Joseph Victor, presi-
dent, CSI Laity Association,
are being squandered and
misappropriated by the
JCAC the task of drafting a
model bill to be submitted to
and assets, which are out- Jan. 18: Lord Jesus Christ
Foreign missionaries and
the forefathers of Indian Churches
Bhaskar Benny, president
Indian Christian Party,
priestly class”.
Muslim Wakf and Sikh
the authorities and pursue
other means if the law is not
side the regulatory con- had said, “My Kingship is Christians purchased landed own a lot of
property but Christianity
Andhra Pradesh, and others Gurdwara Acts, enacted formulated in time. A copy
not of this world” (John properties in the name of have formed a Joint Christ- under Article 25 of the Con- of the resolution was sent to
trol of any law. The 18:36). This meant that His churches, educational insti- is the only religion with-
out laws to proetct them,
ian Action Council (JCAC). stitution, were protecting the the President, Prime Minis-
disciples and their succes- tutions, trusts, hospitals and The JCAC held its first con- properties and assets of ter and Union law minister.
community has practi- sors should keep away from orphanages for the noble avers JCAC vention meeting on ‘Protect- these minorities without Mr Devasahayam and
the temptation of ‘temporal cause of doing service to ing Church Properties and government intervention. Clement Selvaraj, JCAC
cally no say in the wealth’. But, today, Chris- society. As a result, various allegedly tempted to dilute Assets’ in Chennai on Nov. Article 26 of the Constitu- members from Chennai,
tianity is in grave crisis as educational institutions, those properties. As a result, 20, 2010, in which tion permits religious said Mr Devasahayam
administration of there are several litiga- hospitals and orphanages litigations pile up based on Catholics, Lutherans and denominations to own and received a copy of the com-
tions alleging misap- flourished and were doing allegations of corruption, Christians belonging to the acquire moveable and munication from the Presi-
these huge propriation of funds yeoman service to the forgery and misappropria- Church of South India, rep- immoveable property and dent’s Secretariat, forward-
wealth/assets, and attempts to
grab church prop-
nation. Almost all Christian
congregations own proper-
tion. Recently, a bishop of a
Christian congregation was
resenting Tamil Nadu,
Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and
administer them in accor-
dance with law.
ing the petition to the Union
home ministry stating that
which are erties. Rising to
the occasion,
ties in every metropolitan
city and town in India.
put in jail. Violent incidents
and law order problems
Puducherry, participated.
According to JCAC, “The
Christianity was the only
religious community that
the petitioner would be
informed of the action
being squan- eminent per-
sonalities like
According to advocates
P.T. Perumal, E. Edwig and
were created in a bishop’s
headquarters in Tiruchy in a
Christian community in
India - Catholic and Protes-
has no law to protect its
properties, the JCAC added,
taken, after intimation to the
President’s Secretariat
dered and mis- judges, lawyers
and bureaucrats
V. Varghese, who are han-
dling cases relating to
group fight over sale of
tant - have thousands of
crores of rupees worth prop-
and passed a resolution,
appealing to Parliament and
When attempts were made
to get comments, CSI bish-
appropriated demand formulat- church properties, “With so Justice K.T. Thomas, a for- erty and assets, which are state legislatures to enact a op V. Devasahayam was
ing a separate law much wealth under their mer judge of the Supreme outside the regulatory con- suitable law to protect the unavailable, according to
by the priestly like Muslim Wakf control and with no effective Court, former IAS officers trol of any law. The commu- properties, assets and insti- CSI office, and Dr A.M.
and Sikh Gurd- mechanism to monitor them, L.M. Menezes and M.G. nity has practically no say in tutions of Christian church- Chinnappa, archbishop of
class,” argues wara Acts, to pro- the heads of Christian Devasahayam, former Ker- the administration of these es. Madras-Mylapore, could
tect the properties organisations are ala minister N.M. Joseph, huge wealth/assets, which It also entrusted with not be reached over phone.
JCAC, a body
of leading peo-
ple who wish to Greed rampant in priestly
see such mis-
use being class, says ex-IAS officer
ended. GEORGE ADIMATHRA and Adyar river, which formed
ANISHA FRANCIS BYGONE ERA part of the D’Monte Trust
DC | CHENNAI ◗ The eraof dedicated with the archbishop of
people running the Madras-Mylapore as the
Jan. 18: During their incep- church is long gone, trustee, originally measured
tion in India, the objective says Major Victor 105 acres. But, by 1995, it
of both Catholic and Angli- had shrunk to about 12 acres
can Church missionary ◗ A case has been filed (212 grounds - Bens Gar-
groups was to spread the against a Madras CSI den). In 2001/02, this rem-
Christian faith and deliver bishop for alleged nant of the John D’Monte
education to the far reaches misuse of Rs 4.82 trust was alienated to two
of the continent, particularly private parties in violation
the deprived classes. These crore. of the trust conditions.
men braved all opposition ◗ The charge is made However, the approval for
and aided by beneficiaries that corruption is ram- leasing out 150 grounds to a
sowed the seeds of what we pant in school manage- leading businessman was
see as the modern Christian turned down by the Madras
institutions in India. ment. high court and, subsequent-
However, according to ◗ Prime land near Adyar ly, he vacated the premises.
Major J. Victor, general sec- river has shrunk to 12 But approval for leasing out
retary of the Laity Associa- from acres from 105. another 50 grounds to the

tion of CSI-Madras Dio- other party was not at all

cese, the era of those dedi- sought from the high court.
cated people has long gone for the Church of South The businessman still occu-
with the Church in India India (CSI) was born from pies the property. The sec-
now transformed into a “lair ecumenism and inspired by ond attempt to lease out the
of hyenas”, vying for the these words from the Holy same 150 grounds also did
vast amount of riches that Bible: “That they all may be not materialise. Because of
the foreign missionaries left one, as thou, Father, art in this, the trust properties
behind. me, and I in thee, that they have got encumbered or
“’Money is the root cause also may be one in us: that entangled in litigation. The
for all evil’ is a true saying the world may believe that properties are not earning
and it has become a chronic thou has sent me.” (Gospel any revenue whatsoever and
disease in many of the of John 17.21). However, this has resulted in grave
church leaders too. From those heading the CSI of loss to the trust. All these are
minor cases like the crimi- Tamil Nadu seem to believe due to rampant corruption
nal case against Madras CSI and follow only the last por- and greed among the church
bishop for allegedly misus- tion of the quote, that they authorities,” Mr Devasa-
ing of `4.82 crore collected are God’s own installation hayam alleged.
from abroad without the upon the earth and can carry All attempts to contact the
knowledge of CSI to the forth anything as per their archbishop of Madras-
FIR registered against the wish,” Mr Victor said. Mylapore A.M. Chinnappa,
present CSI moderator for Mr M.G. Devasahayam, a and CSI bishop V. Devasa-
allegedly diverting large retired IAS official and con- hayam failed as calls to both
amounts of money from the vener of the Joint Christian the bishops’ mobile phones
Bishop Cotton’s boys and Action Council, formed were not attended and the
girls school into his person- recently to protect the prop- office-bearers stated that
al account, corruption in the erties of churches, said, they were either attending
church is being exposed to a “The most prime property in ‘important’ meetings or
great extent. The inspiration Chennai, on the banks of the were ‘out of station’.


History book grabs
Do newspapers care
about readers’ views? They write their own textbooks magic of yesteryear

ver the years, I have written innumerable “Anthroposophy Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- no blackboards or books, CHENNAI
letters to the press, here and abroad, mostly CHENNAI atrician turned practitioner and in primary school, the
published and largely edited and many a when applied in of holistic anthroposophic main lesson is only taught Jan. 18: Rich tributes were
times consigned to the waste paper basket. Why Jan. 18: There are no text- education, aims to medicine. between 8 and 10 am in the paid to the legend of Telugu
do readers write and give their free opinion to the books in this class; each stu- Dr Lakshmi Prasanna and morning. film industry and former
press? To satisfy their own egos to see their dent writes and illustrates make the child a her colleague Michael Koki- Music, arts and theatre are chief minister of Andhra
names in print? To vent their pent-up feelings? his or her textbook. confident, imagina- nos are in Chennai to intro- part of the curriculum; gym- Pradesh, Nandamuri
To share their opinions with fellow readers and Music is played during tive person, who duce parents and teachers to nastics is a must to improve Tarakarama Rao or NTR as
get noticed? Who really cares? Do the govern- class hours and lessons are the spiritual philosophy that coordination and ‘hand- he is fondly known, by Tel-
ments or the authorities ever read and sit up and taught through movements thinks independ- has a strong Chennai con- work’ class includes practi- ugus in the city on his 15th C.M.K. Reddy, president
take note to redress the grievances? and expressions. ently, but is emo- nection—its founder Steiner cal skills like metal casting death anniversary on Tues- of All India Telugu Feder-
Invariably, one is left with the feeling that one is To learn measurement, the tionally resilient at was deeply involved in the and carpentry for older chil- day. The occasion was ation releases the book -
merely filling up available space in the readers class is taken bushwalking Theosophical society in dren. marked by a release of a Yuganikokkadu, auth-
columns, and much to the chagrin of the writer, through mountains, and to the same time,” Adyar, whose president “We believe that there are book on his history – ored by U. Vinayaku
invariably, the Editor chops and changes the learn the gist of religions, explains Dr Laksh- Anne Besant made him head 12 senses, and not just five,” Yuganikokkadu. Rao. Noted film produc-
whole letter to fit in his available space or kills the every possible festival is cel- of the society’s German says Dr Vasudha Prakash, Authored by senior jour- er K. Murari receives the
gist of the opinions expressed by foisting and ebrated traditionally. mi Prasanna, pedia- chapter. A kind of marriage whose school V-Excel has nalist U. Vinayaku Rao, the first copy. — DC
replacing the Editor’s own. Learning is radically dif- trician turned prac- between religion and pagan- adopted the Waldorf system. nearly 350-page book, was
Who benefits from these letters to the Editor? ferent at schools that follow titioner of holistic ism, Anthroposophy was “Nourishing these senses of released by C.M.K. Reddy, Mr Reddy recalled the yeo-
What do my fellow readers feel about this? the ‘Waldorf’ education sys- created by Steiner after he balance, warmth, ego, self- president of the All India man service of NTR and
tem, which is an application anthroposophic broke away from the Theo- movement, language, con- Telugu Federation at a func- said he was a legend of his
Raju Umamaheswar, of ‘anthroposophy’—a spir- medicine. sophical society. cept and life sense is impor- tion here. Noted film pro- times. He had introduced
Thudiyalur, Coimbatore itual philosophy that had its “In the Waldorf system, tant for the child’s develop- ducer K. Murari received several reforms including
roots in Chennai’s Theo- ed take on child develop- the same teacher continues ing brain.” the first copy. equal share in ancestral
Do you agree with the letter-writer that no sophical Society. ment. teaching the same class for While there are 1,000 Wal- Distinguished actress of property for women.
one cares? Can any paper afford to publish The ‘anthroposophic’ “Anthroposophy when seven years,” explains Dr dorf schools across the yesteryear Anjali Devi who D. Sathyanarayana, presi-
letters in their entirety? We invite readers to approach to education applied in education, aims Lakshmi. world, the handful of Indian was to have released the dent of South Indian Telugu
seems too good to be true, to make the child a confi- “This way, the teacher schools can only follow the book could not attend the Welfare Association, Mr
share their thoughts. but Chennai schools are dent, imaginative person, forms a bond with every stu- system until class ten, after function due to the senate Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise-
Write to slowly warming up to late who thinks independently, dent, and understands each which students appear for meeting of the Tirupati Uni- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao
Austrian philosopher but is emotionally resilient child and his abilities.” the CBSE board examina- versity. and K. Prasad were among
Rudolf Steiner’s free-spirit- at the same time,” explains In kindergarten, there are tion. Speaking on the occasion, those who spoke.