A scandal unfolds in Tirumala – Subramanian Swamy to file a PIL in the Supreme Court

The scandal in the hills of Tirumala will be keenly watched

The unfolding scandal at Tirumala is yet another wakeup call for the Hindus who, over the ages, have suffered direct and indirect threats to practising their religion in India

The recent revelations of financial irregularities at Tirupathi Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara is indeed troubling. Dr. A V Ramana Dikshitulu, the former chief priest, who has served the temple for more than twenty years, has come out with a series of stunning allegations that has literally thrown the Tirupathi Tirumala Devasthanam (TTD) Board as well as the Andhra government under the bus. Ever since he went public, a continuous stream of alleged serious irregularities are tumbling out indicating that all is not well in the management of the famed temple of Lord Venkateswara.

So what is happening at Tirumala? Some of the allegations are very serious. The TTD administration is yet to issue a convincing point by point clarification on the alleged irregularities

The allegations range from missing jewels offered to the temple by various kings in the past to diversion of cash donations by devotees to fund government projects and expenses. Also, the discontinuation of the age-old practice of annual public audits of the temple’s jewels and the secret digging up of the prasadam kitchen where a huge treasure of jewels were purportedly hidden during Muslim invasion around circa 1150 AD have stunned the public. Further, the TTD management seems to have deliberately employed non-Hindus at the temple in direct violation of its own rules and the matter is said to be in the courts.

The ‘Raj Pink’, a rare 37.3-carat diamond considered as the rarest of the rare variety of diamonds, donated by the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore is also mired in deep controversy. The former Chief Priest claims that while a vigilance report by a senior IPS officer recorded it as ‘broken due to pilgrims throwing coins at it’, the actual stone was auctioned by Sotheby’s.

The allegation of diversion of temple funds to non-temple related expenses is nothing new. This has been going on for several decades in almost every temple in South India. For example, in Tamil Nadu, there have been several allegations of using temple funds to buy official cars for the use of government officers, building bus terminals etc. Many fear that the scale of diversion of funds and jewellery theft at Tirumala may be massive.

So what is happening at Tirumala? Some of the allegations are very serious. The TTD administration is yet to issue a convincing point by point clarification on the alleged irregularities – particularly the issue of jewels offered to the temple by Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagara kings – specifically Krishnadeva Raya.

Firstly, the response of the Andhra government to these allegations is also far from satisfactory. The deputy chief minister has issued a statement warning the former Chief Priest but has obviously not said anything about the allegations per se. This is on expected lines from a political party in India and unfortunately, no one is buying it.

Secondly, in another response (TOI 5/21/2018,) the executive officer (EO) of the temple has offered to display the temple jewels if the Agama Shastras so permit. While this is indeed a welcome move, this has raised more questions than its answers. For example why now and not earlier? Many question the timing of the offer too. The EO’s statement also conspicuously does not address the concerns or explain how huge ruby that bedecked the Lord was broken by the impact of coins thrown by the devotees.

Thirdly, the Andhra government, in a move to punish Dikshitulu, has sacked the Chief Priest by changing retirement rules of priests. This is nothing short of political vendetta and a blatant attempt to silence him. Dr. Ramana Dikshitulu has vowed to fight it legally in the courts. Given that temple priests have no formal retirement age, it is unclear how this action by the state government will stand legal scrutiny.

To view the unsavoury happenings at Tirumala in isolation is to miss the woods for the trees. Every temple in India has been violated and its jewels and offerings by public stolen. With nauseating regularity, precious statues and deities have disappeared in India and reappeared in museums in the developed world or on the sale tables of world’s leading auctioneers. Yet this should not be dismissed as mere petty and isolated criminal offences but part of a larger design to desecrate holy temples of the Hindus.

The scandal in the hills of Tirumala will be keenly watched. Most certainly, this will wind its way to the highest court of the land, and will also determine the future management of all temples in India

India’s treasures have been repeatedly plundered – from the Muslim invaders to the systematic draining of the country’s wealth by the British. Now it is the turn of the corrupt political class to pillage. This haemorrhaging of India has to stop now. Period.

The unfolding scandal at Tirumala is yet another wakeup call for the Hindus who, over the ages, have suffered direct and indirect threats to practising their religion in India. Despite all the hogwash of religious freedom and constitutional guarantees, the fact is that today the practice of the Hindu faith is under great pressure. It is fighting for its very survival in its own land.

The problem here is that the political ecosystem in India stinks and anything short of an impartial enquiry by a retired or sitting Supreme Court judge will only heighten the suspicion of the people. The findings of the inquiry must be published immediately to create confidence in the public. If the allegations prove true, the guilty – however high and mighty they may be – should face the full force of the law.

Regardless of the outcome of this inquiry, the central and state governments must bring in a new administrative body for the efficient and transparent management of temples all over India. It should be noted here that eminent Indians like Dr. Subramanian Swamy have advocated the return of control of temples from the government to the worshipping community, albeit with sufficient safeguards to prevent financial irregularities.

While the jury is still out on the veracity of the allegations of Dr. Ramana Dikshitulu, the TTD move to sack him only hints at a cover-up on a massive scale. This has now made him into a martyr and endeared him to millions of devotees of Lord Venkateswara.

In another recent development, Dr. Subramanian Swamy has tweeted (May 21st, 2018) that he will seek a Court-monitored CBI investigation into the financial misappropriation of temple funds by TTD. He has also termed the sacking of the chief priest as illegal. This scales the problems to a new level of complexity and embarrassment for TTD. Given Dr.Swamy’s track record in filing public interest litigations and achieving the desired judicial outcomes, it could spell disaster for the TTD.

The unfolding Tirumala scandal also has a larger message for the Hindus. The price of religious freedom is eternal vigilance and never can they take it as a god’s given right, for mere mortals – be it the barbarians or the vile politicians – can pillage this precious right.

The scandal in the hills of Tirumala will be keenly watched. Most certainly, this will wind its way to the highest court of the land, and will also determine the future management of all temples in India. But for the present Hindus can only hope the Lord’s jewels and offerings by millions of devotees over hundreds of years are safe.

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.


  1. All the allegations by head priest is false and baseless. I have checked all the allegations point by point meticulously by hearing both sides. All are false and being carried out to take control of the temple by BJP/Central Govt.

  2. It is rather shocking that Hindu temples and Hindu persons are being swindled by our own people. We have laws which regulate Hindu temples and nothing for other religions. Further, the money is used by the government not for the upkeep of the temples, but for their own corruption. We should stop this nonsense once and for all. Let government either regulate every religion or better still leave all religions alone. Let us not divide Hindus any further into north and south, east and west, dalits and upper castes as this has easily allowed us to fall prey to the nasty semitic religions and our own dirty politicians, majority of whom are stated Hindus.

  3. This is 100 percent politically motivated issue.
    1. ASI issued notice to TTD and withdrawn
    2. Issue flare-up after a political party president visit to Tirumala
    3. GO regarding Retirement of priest did not come up this year, It was in 2012
    4. It is a personal Clash between two person for power in AP
    6. if these political parties have issues they have deal politically,
    7. sitting judges made it clear its very difficult to take ornaments from Temple
    The sanctity of God getting down with useless political parties and politicians.
    politicians please stay away from Lord Venkateswara.
    Request of all the people lets not get into trap of these ruthless politicians.

  4. We Hindus in India have outsourced the task of safeguarding our heritage, culture and our way of life to Governments, political parties and some specific organizations. All these agents have their own priorities, purposes and goals. Time is NOW for all of us Hindus to actually take over this safeguarding. If we don’t, maybe our subsequent generations may not even know that there was any such thing as Hinduism, Hindus and Indianness.
    Time to listen to persons like Shri Rajiv Malhotra ji in his efforts to spell our Grand Narrative.




  5. By using gold coverings, the TTD has attracted all corrupt elements & day is not far when lust for gold will see the holy temple being attacked & destruction happens !! Holy temples should be free or maintain distance from gold & other forms of wealth. the holy temple at Belurmath where the Divine Mother took physical form to please its devotee Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa is pure rock !!! & NO gold It should be like this only.

  6. There is lots of rotten stuff in TTD & state government has been eyeing control of it for a long time & there are recorded instances of backdoor machinations to “rob” the Lords wealth for personal gains. The priests are NOT above law for they are equally corrupt in the name of Lord Venkateshwara. there is no element of “spirituality” in the Priest appointment or in Priests themselves, it is more of hereditary & self serving & has no place of divine merit existing in these TTD working.

  7. Please start a joint petiton to Chief Justice of Supreme Court against mis-using of TTD funds in particular and in HIndu temples in India.This is the need of the hour . People ,poor or rich , stand in ” Q] for hours together to get a glimpse of Lord and offer their valuables to Lord as apart of their devotion . Can such funds be used for political purposes ? can any Government dare to do the same thing wrt Churches and Mosques.?? A million dollar question !

  8. The trusts should be formed for administrring and maintaining the temples with those known for their beliefs in Hinduism and selfless service only. The appointment of employees should be left to the trust giving them guidelines for appointment in temples. Only Hindus having faith in hinduism should be appointed without any exemption. The accounts should be audited yearly once and the trust should be held responsible for any irregularities found. Unless Hindus are allowed to run the temples on their own,there is every likelihood of misutilizing the assets of the temples and destroying the temples itself by using dubious methods by the selfish politicians. Political Ian’s should not be allowed to have any say in these matters,or else for their selfish political career they won’t think twice for destroying the whole temples.

  9. To start with, a high level inquiry in the blatant misuse of temple donations across the country must be immediately ordered by the President of India, headed by a retired chief justice of India. There after clear cut rules must be framed by an expert’s committee with a view to safe guard the temple’s assets and a major portion of these must be allocated for welfare of underprivileged and poor members of our community towards their education and health care. Instead of making more temples in the country, including another Ram Temple in Ayodya, let us resolve to make a ‘Big Multi-Specialty Hospital’, better than any PGI or AIMS in Ayodya, call it ‘SHRI RAM CHANDRA HEALTH CARE CENTER’, where all our citizens of weaker cross section will be treated free of cost.

    • Why a hospital of all things?
      Hindu temple money should be used to promote Hinduism…start vedic schools for the youth and give them vedic education along with modern education.
      When the minds of people are tuned for good things, there is no need for any hospitals.
      Start vedic colleges… Most of the young Generation are not aware of or kept deliberately away from Hindu literature.

    • You must listen to former ASI representative involved in the excavation of Ram Temple KK Muhammad interview and decide he gives a very good reason why there should be a temple be built.

    • If you want to construct hospital, Govt can do it from the taxes collected from people. Or you can donate money to some org which can do this. Money donated to temple is for the welfare of temples only. Not for some other work. When the devotees donate money, they donate with the intention that their money will be used for improving the temple, doing something good for the devotees who come to temple and improving the infrastructure surrounding it. Not to put to some other use. If Govt is doing this, they are indirectly fooling and cheating the trust of people. Is this not crime? If I want some hospital to be constructed, I can donate for that cause separately.
      Since so much money is diverted from temples, many temples in Tamil nadu and other regions are getting neglected. This will not only affect the people living around that region but also the country as well. This are scripted well in agamas.
      So, let us not confuse money donated to temple with money for welfare of the country. Both are different.

  10. Why Hindus in Andhra and elsewhere are silent?.They should go to the street and expose the dirty politicians who have Hindu names but have no ethics or morals.It is even rumored that funds from Hindu temples are being diverted to non Hindu institutions!We wish Dr Swami all success in this legal case.

    • Yes … Wish Dr.Swamy helps bring peace to all Hindu minds.
      How can courts give consent to non Hindus who work…in TTD..?
      How can the government decide on priests future.
      Their government (Telugu Desam) itself has no future… How can they try to control temple and administration…
      Recently they appointed some Christian MLA…in TTD…. And due to opposition they took her back…
      Rajasekar Reddy was the first culprit who along with Italian Sonia appointed a christian in TTD highest post…for which he was punished.
      Priest has to be reinstated.
      All non Hindus should be sent out to their respective religious place or government…
      No court should issue judgement in this case. Temples don’t come under courts.

  11. It is Lord Venkateswara Will that Subramanyaswami Kills this corruption too. (Malon Marugan is always VetriVel Veeran) Let us hope the temple management is given to the decendents Saint of Ramanuja whose divine intervention brought Tirupati and Balajis blessings for one and all. Incidentally he too fought in the courts to establish and take over the management of the temple.

  12. Can we all file a joint petition to the president of India for the change to be brought in soon? I am sure the jewels are not safe and have landed elsewhere. YSR eyed tirumala and all know what fate he faced. Same will happen to anyone who goes in that way. Now, looks like it is done by Naidu. Waiting for his fate to be closed by Venkateshwara.

  13. Really shocking and disgusted to see the mystery unfold. I feel ashamed that me as well as majority of Hindus do not know the fact that our temples have been sold to government long back and they can use the proceeds as per their whims and fancies. Its time for us Hindus to come reunited and reclaim our fundamental right, the right to worship without any intermediary.

    The below talk by Brother J Sai Deepak will also give some eyeopening facts of the entire temple scams that successive governments have secretly taken out. All these year, the funds donated at temples have been used not only to buy cars to Netas, but also to sponsor Haj and other religious pilgrimages.

    If it is not stopped, our generations will for sure be on roads to beg or to be butchered or convert to other faiths.

    • Not only to Haj but to all christian educational institutions..which receive aids from government ….
      Education system should be under government control and relieved of all missionaries because they are ones who spoil the minds of innocent youths and try to convert them.


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