The junior pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Vijendra Saraswathi has landed himself in a controversy by sitting in meditation during invocation to Tamil, revered as Mother, at a function here on Tuesday in which Tamil-Sanskrit dictionary was released.
It is customary in all government and even private functions to start with invocation to Tamil and end with the national anthem.
At the function at the book fair where the dictionary was released, the pontiff was seen sitting with his eyes closed when Governor and other dignitaries, including BJP national secretary H Raja, were seen standing in respect when the invocation song was played.
Leaders of various parties in the State have said the pontiff has insulted Tamil by sitting through the invocation and standing up only when the national anthem was played at the end of the function.
The mutt has clarified he meant no disrespect to Tamil. Invocation to Tamil is also akin to invoking the name of God and the pontiff as a matter of practice sits in meditation whenever God's name is invoked. He does that even in the mutt when Swasti Vachakam is recited in which all gods are mentioned."He followed that practice at the book release function also", the mutt has said.
But leaders like Marumalarchi DMK's Vaiko and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi chief Thol Thirumavalavan are not ready to accept this explanation and they ask why he stood up when the national anthem was played. They have demanded an apology.
Tamil Nadu Minister for Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan has, however , said the Pontiff was probably lost in meditation and thought it was not proper to stand up in the middle of the invocation. "I don't think he meant to insult Tamil."