I had decided not to blog about this issue because it is a highly sensitive one. I changed my mind. A friend forwarded me this link about the Shankaracharya titled "The Real Shankaracharya":
I was a great follower of the Paramacharya, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi. I have read his collected talks "Theivathin Kural" and many of his ideas have moulded my thoughts and perspectives in many ways. I confess that I am not that great an admirer of the present Acharya but nonetheless revere him as one who's above the average populace. It came as a rude shock to suddenly read on rediff that he had been imprisoned on a murder charge.
Of course, immediately, the press went to town on how he is a power wielding, goonda in ascetic robes. Somehow, I find it very difficult to believe that a man who has been performing Chandramouleeswara Pooja for the past 50 years or so is capable of committing murder or even masterminding it. Regardless of the fact that he is active in politics, he is still an ascetic, has been under the guidance of the Paramacharya and has the exclusive right to perform pooja to Kanchi Kamakshi in the garbhagriha. Would such a person even contemplate a heinous sin such as this?! I can't imagine that.
What is more irritating is the "holier-than-thou" attitude of politicians. Karunanidhi who now tarnishes the Acharya freely is a scoundrel himself. And Jayalalitha is no better anyway. These are all people with so many criminal cases pending against them and they are in no position to accuse the Acharya of anything.
Do I belive the Acharya is guilty? Frankly, I don't know. I hope it is not true. If he has indeed committed such a crime, then I think the spiritual punishment for doing Pooja with such impure thoughts would be more severe than any that mortal law can impose on him. If he is not, then I hope that all these years of purity and tapas will bring him through this test of fire stronger and untarnished. But there is no denying the fact that the Hindu community is indeed deeply hurt by the arrest of a religious figure of the Shankaracharya's stature.