Q: What is Your Holiness’s opinion about the present tendency among the temple trustees to desecrate temples in the name renovation? By painting gopurams and whitewashing the stone pillars, rich in sculptural detail, they are not prolonging the life of the temple. On the contrary, they are making it look cheap and undignified. The serenity, the solemnity and the sanctity that age imparts to our great shrines are being sacrificed at the altar of so-called renovation. The “Sudais” on our gopurams painted in garish colours look like “Kolu”. They lack the dignity of the mutilated figures which they have replaced.
H.H.: I agree with you. I could not have expressed myself on the subject as forcefully as you have done. A temple need not be attractive. But it should remain authentic under all circumstances. Its original grandeur should be preserved by our renovators. It is not enough that our temple trustees have faith. They should also have taste.