Chennai, Apr 24: Putting an end to speculations about its shifting, the Tamil Nadu Government today said status quo will be maintained with regard to the Vivekanandar Illam, under the supervision of the Ramakrishna Mutt in the city. Replying to a special call attention motion given notice of by members of various political parties, following reports that the government was planning to take over the heritage building to set up a Classical Tamil Centre, Mr Karunanidhi said there was no proposal to take over the building, given the ten-year lease to Ramakrishna Mutt that expires in 2010.
''No notice were issued to the Ramakrishna Mutt authorities nor any letter was sent to them in this regard,'' he said and added that status quo would be maintained.
Asserting that the preachings of Swami Vivekananda, who had stayed in the Illam here in 1897 for nine days after his return from Chicago where he addressed the Parliament of World Religions Conference, was akin to the one espoused by rationalist leader and social reformer Periyar and late Chief Minister C N Annadurai, Mr Karunanidhi said, '' We are not enemy to Swami Vivekananda.'' The Vivekanandar Illam is such a strong building that it could not and would not be demolished. ''Is it an ordinary structure that could be razed down,'' he said, allaying the fears of the Mutt authorities.
Referring to reports of the Mutt authorities mulling legal action if the government insisted on its shifting, Mr Karunanidhi said he was not bothered about these threats and said the government was prepared to face them legally.
''But such threats by Sadhus goes against the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda and his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsar,'' he said.
Mr Karunanidhi said when the state government was thinking of a temporary place to set up the Classical Tamil Centre sanctioned by the Centre, some forces, inimical to the government, tried to create rift between the Mutt authorities and him by creating an impression that the government was planning to take over the 27,456 sq ft area (housing the Illam) on the arterial beach road, off Marina.
He announced that the Classical Tamil Centre would be temporarily set up in Palar House in Marina till the permanent building at Perungudi, on the IT corridor, was completed.