White Paper discloses 1000 immovable properties gifted across the country to Tirupati Devasthanam
Tirumala shrine on Venkatadri hills was in the news for opening Vaikunta [Uttara] dwaram for 10 days this December, Presidential visit and the White Paper
Tirumala temple’s 1000 properties
The Tirumala shrine on the Venkatadri hills were in the news for three reasons: one, the Venkateshwara temple decided to open the Vaikunta [Uttara] dwaram entrance to the shrine for 10 days this year in December as opposed to the earlier practice of keeping it open only for 2 days, after it was prodded into doing so by the High Court. Devotees believe it is auspicious to walk through the Vaikunta dwaram; one devotee had gone to court in January to get it opened for 10 days as is the practice in other temples.
The second was the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to the temple to offer prayers after taking the new Air India One B-777 to Chennai. The third, which caused a stir, was a white paper issued by the TTD (Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam) which revealed that TTD owned 1000 plus immovable properties across the country spread over a little more than 8000 acres. There are no plans to sell off or lease the properties, mostly gifted by devotees.
Tiger trouble in Telangana
Ateenage girl was killed by a tiger in a remote area of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. This was the second such incident in the northern Telangana district bordering Maharashtra, named after Komaram Bheem, the Gond tribal leader who fought a guerrilla war against the Asaf Jahi Nizam dynasty of Hyderabad. A farmer recently videographed a tigress drinking water from a stream, which went viral. Forest officials said a number of tigers from the Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve in Maharashtra had made the district’s forests their home.Villagers were being made aware of the need for tiger conservation, and asked not to harm the tigers.
Cheer for Kerala tourism
After a prolonged COVID-imposed lockdown, tourism is looking up in God’s own country. The government of Kerala opened up beaches and tourist spots for tourists in October-November, and now the tourism industry is picking up again. Tourists are flocking again to the hill station of Munnar, a favoured destination in winter; so much so that local residents have complained to the authorities about the trash and liquor bottles thrown on the roadside. Hotels and resorts – which had converted swimming pools for aqua farming to tide over things – are not complaining. The Sabarimala pilgrimage is also underway, which brings in a lot of visitors from the southern states. Visitors are allowed a stay of less than seven days without quarantine after registering with the Covid Jagratha Portal. Longer stays require a covidnegative certificate on entry or thereafter to avoid quarantine. International arrivals will however have to wait awhile.
Win some, lose some
Maharashtra government recently issued advisories restricting entry of passengers arriving by rail, road or air from states like Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa without covid negative certificates; many visitors from Goa now drive down to Karnataka to take flights into Maharashtra from airports in the southern state.
Hubbali, Belagavi and Mangaluru are all within driving distance [so for that matter is Bengaluru, though it takes longer] from Goa. So many Goans visiting Maharashtra simply drive down to Karnataka and board a flight to Pune or Mumbai, I order to avoid getting a covid test certificate. Airline sources confirm that flights from Karnataka to Maharashtra are full.
Tamil news bulletins in North India?
Prasar Bharati’s recent directive to regional Doordarshan TV channels to either broadcast the evening 15-minute Sanskrit news bulletin [7.15- 7.30 pm] at the same time or within the next half an hour has met with opposition from TamilNadu’s politicians. Prominent politicians who have come out against the move include DMK’s MK Stalin and Thol Thirumalavan, the Dalit leader and MP from the Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi [VCK],and the CPM MP Su Venkatesan from Madurai, the wellknown Tamil writer, who won the Sahitya Akademi award in Tamil in 2011 for his debut novel Kavalkottam.
“There are hardly five people in the audience, why then is there this 6-inch conch to trumpet it?,” tweeted the writer. Predictably, they see it as an attempt to impose the RSS-BJP agenda in the state. By the same token, they are asking, will DD broadcast Tamil news in northern states?