''Sri Thevar Guru Puja'', 2022, Pasumpon and confusion over custody of golden kavacham (armour)

Thevar Jayanthi, an annual commemoration of the birthday of Pasumpon Muthuramalingam Thevar, one of the distinguished  Indian patriots and politicians,  is  celebrated on 30 October in a grand manner at his samadhi (burial place) in Pasumpon village in Ramanathapuram district of  Tamil Nadu. lakhs of people visit his memorial and pay homage to to him. he won parliament elections three times and the state assembly election one time. A prominent leader of Forward Block, he was a close associate of Nethji Bose. 

statue of Sri Muthuramalinga Thevar with gold armour

Above image: Golden Armour over the statue of freedom fighter Muthuramalinga Thevarji at his memorial, Pasumpon, TN:  Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu late Jayalalithaa of AIADMK party  had presented the 13.5 kg gold armour in 2014.  The cost of this kavacham was more than Rs.3  crore then. It was  decided  then that the treasurer of the AIADMK along with the living descendant of Muthuramalingam Thevar alone was authorized to receive the armour from the bank locker.

Since 2014  the statue of the leader has been adorned with the ''Thanga kavacham''  amid tight security ahead of  annual Guru puja events. Normally, a prominent AIADMK leader would bring the golden armour from the bank locker in Madurai  with  police escort and after the puja events  he will take it back with police security and deposit  it with the bank. 

This year, the District Revenue Officer  as per High Court directive received the golden armour (kavacham) from a Bank of India branch in Madurai on Wednesday (26th Oct.)  and amidst tight security it was handed over to the officials in Ramanathapuram district. So, the golden armour was installed  on Thevar statue at the memorial at Pasumpon in Ramanathapuram district in the presence of senior revenue and police officials on Thursday (27th October) - ahead of the 115th jayanthi and 60th guru puja to be held on October 30. 

Location map. Pasumpon, Ramanathapuram,TN.frontline.thehindu.com

Because of infights and intraparty politics in the AIADMK party the responsibility of handling the golden armor for the Thevar guru puja October 28 to 30 was entrusted with the government officials so that the ceremony would be held without any hitch. AIADMK, now like a rudderless boat, is in disarray and it is sad, during the Guru Puja their disunity and  lack of direction are on openly on display.  

The police have made 3-tier  round the clock security arrangement with armed police personnel and it will continue through out the event till the golden armour (kavacham)  is deposited in the bank locker at Madurai.  The  locker  account is jointly managed by the AIADMK party Treasurer and the Pasumpon Thevar Ninaivalayam - represented by  Memorial’s caretaker.  In October 2017 as there was confusion over which AIADMK faction would get  possession of the kavacham, the bank released the golden armour under the custody of  the District Collector. 

Late CM Jayalalitha handing over the armour arcattoscana.org

Above image:  Former CM J Jayalalithaa officially  handing over the 13kg golden armour for being used on the Muthuramalinga Thevar statute at Pasumpon in Ramanathapuram district on 28 October  2014............

When former CM late Jayalalithaa visited the Thevar memorial, Pasumpon village  on October 30, 2010 to pay her respect to the great leader and patriot at that time the pontiff of Kamatchipuri Atheenam had requested her to gift a golden armour for the statue which she responded immediately.  Subsequently on 10 February 2014  she visited the memorial again and this time with golden kavacham . She sprinkled holy water and flowers on the armour before presenting it to Kamatchipuri Atheenam pontiff, thus fulfilling the desire of the swamiji. the kavacham covers the entire length of the statue - 3.5 tall feet. Since golden armour would pose security challenge to the memorial, decision was made to keep it in the bank locker at Madurai city and would be used on special occasions.