How do temples thrive in a state committed to rationalist politics?
The state's rational politics began as anti-Brahmin, not anti-temples.
What draws people to these temples?
Partly the food offering! Some find it a 'time pass', others a morale-booster.
What's different between temples of the past and today?
Temples served as public and community welfare institutions and secular and cultural spaces. Now they are sanctuaries for the religious and needy.
How many temples are there in Tamil Nadu?
Over 40,000. It's possibly the state with the most temples, and some of the oldest.
What is unique about Tamil Nadu's temples?
The temples have over 50,000 inscriptions—economic and socio-political records, useful today if our politicians could read the words of wisdom on geopolitics and justice.
This is your third book on Tamil Nadu temples. Why this recurring passion?
I was annoyed with so little...