This is Indian democracy.
Horror on Hinduism...
Why is there an IAS Officer as Head of a Temple?
Why are we Hindus taking all this lying down?
Can they dare go to a Masjid or a church?
Foreign writer opens our eyes -
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act of 1951 allows State
Governments and politicians to take over thousands of Hindu Temples and
maintain complete control over them and their properties. It is claimed that
they can sell the temple assets and properties and use the money in any way
A charge has been made not by any Temple authority, but by a foreign writer,
Stephen Knapp in a book (Crimes against India and the Need to Protect
Ancient Vedic Tradition) published in the United States that makes shocking
Hundreds of temples in centuries past have been built in India by devout
rulers and the donations given to them by devotees have been used for the
benefit of the (other) people. If, presently, money collected has ever been
misused (and that word needs to be defined),it is for the devotees to
protest and not for any government to interfere. This letter is what has
been happening currently under an intrusive law.
It would seem, for instance, that under a Temple Empowerment Act,about
43,000 temples in Andhra Pradesh have come under government control and only
18 per cent of the revenue of these temples have been returned for temple
purposes, the remaining 82 per cent being used for purposes unstated.
Apparently even the world famous Tirumala Tirupati Temple has not been
spared. According to Knapp, the temple collects over Rs 3,100 Crores every
year and the State Government has not denied the charge that as much as 85
per cent of this is transferred to the State Exchequer, much of which goes
to causes that are not connected with the Hindu community. Was it for that
reason that devotees make their offering to the temples? Another charge that
has been made is that the Andhra Government has also allowed the demolition
of at least ten temples for the construction of a golf course. Imagine the
outcry writes Knapp, if ten mosques had been demolished.
It would seem that in Karanataka, Rs.79 Crores were collected from about two
Lakh temples and from that, temples received Rs. Seven Crores for their
maintenance, Muslim madrassas and Haj subsidy were given Rs.59 Crore and
churches about Rs.13 Crore. Very generous of the government.
Because of this, Knapp writes, 25 per cent of the two Lakh temples or about
50,000 temples in Karnataka will be closed down for lack of resources, and
he adds: The only way the government can continue to do this is because
people have not stood up enough to stop it.
Knapp then refers to Kerala where, he says, funds from the Guruvayur Temple
are diverted to other government projects denying improvement to 45 Hindu
temples. Land belonging to the Ayyappa Temple, apparently has been grabbed
and Church encroaches are occupying huge areas of forest land, running into
thousands of acres, near Sabarimala.
A charge is made that the Communist state government of Kerala wants to pass
an Ordinance to disband the Travancore & Cochin Autonomous Devaswom Boards
(TCDBs) and take over their limited independent authority of 1,800 Hindu
If what the author says is true, even the Maharashtra Government wants to
take over some 450,000 temples in the state which would supply a huge amount
of revenue to correct the states bankrupt conditions
And to top it all, Knapp says that in Orissa, the state government intends
to sell over 70,000 acres of endowment lands from the Jagannath Temple, the
proceeds of which would solve a huge financial crunch brought about by its
own mismanagement of temple assets.
Says Knapp: Why such occurrences are so often not known is that the Indian
media, especially the English television and press, are often anti-Hindu in
their approach, and thus not inclined to give much coverage, and certainly
no sympathy, for anything that may affect the Hindu community. Therefore,
such government actions that play against the Hindu community go on without
much or any attention attracted to them.
Knapp obviously is on record. If t he facts produced by him are incorrect,
it is up to the government to say so. It is quite possible that some
individuals might have set up temples to deal with lucrative earnings. But
that, surely, is none of the governments business? Instead of taking over
all earnings, the government surely can appoint local committees to look
into temple affairs so that the amount discovered is fairly used for the
Says Knapp: Nowhere in the free, democratic world are the religious
institutions managed, maligned and controlled by the government, thus
denying the religious freedom of the people of the country. But it is
happening in India. Government officials have taken control of Hindu temples
because they smell money in them, they recognise the indifference of Hindus,
they are aware of the unlimited patience and tolerance of Hindus, they also
know that it is not in the blood of Hindus to go to the streets to
demonstrate, destroy property, threaten, loot, harm and kill Many Hindus are
sitting and watching the demise of their culture.They need to express their
views loud and clear Knapp obviously does not know that should they do so,
they would be damned as communalists.But it is time someone asked the
Government to lay down all the facts on the table so that the public would
know what is happening behind its back. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not
secularism. And temples are not for looting, under any name. One thought
that Mohammad of Ghazni has long been dead.
Hinduism remains the most attacked and under siege of all the major world
religions. This is in spite of the fact that Hinduism is the most tolerant,
pluralistic and synthetic of the world's major religions.