IndiaFacts is honoured to extend its support to the initiative of Jijnasa and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, who have jointly organized a seminar to address and discuss the urgent issue of freeing Hindu temples from Government control. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Subramanian Swamy. Sharing the stage will be Swamy Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, along with other leading Acharyas from various Hindu Mathas. The seminar is titled, “Hindu Temples and Government Control.”
The following is the press note from Jijnasa. For more details, visit: http://jijnasa-live.blogspot.in/2014/09/jijnasa-6th-sept-hindu-temples-and-govt.html
Hindu Temples and Government Control Seminar co–‐hosted by Jijnasa and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha (the apex body of Hindu religious leaders)
Namma Devasthana, Bangalore and Temple Worshippers Society, Chennai
Venue: RV Teachers College Auditorium, Jayanagar, Bangalore
Date: 6 Sept 2014; Time: 3pm
The seminar will discuss several issues relating to Hindu religious temples, institutions and the detrimental impact of government control.
Why should a ‘secular’ government control any religious institutions? And why should it control only Hindu places of worship and not those of other non-‐Hindu denominations, as is the case presently?
The Hindu society often rues that the wealth of Hindu temples is hostage to government interference and corruption. There is angst over inability of Hindu institutions, hobbled by government interference, to invest in creating knowledge assets – digital, physical universities and new schools of thought with the potential for inter generational impact.
It is to this effect that the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in Nov 2012 took up the issue and made a representation in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment on 6 Jan 2013 ruled against the Tamil Nadu Government’s G.O of 2006 which had mandated the government takeover of the hallowed Sri Sabhanayagar Temple (Nataraja temple at Chidambaram.)
This is not an isolated instance. In every corner of the country, from Tamil Nadu to Kashmir temple managements are fighting the state governments from being taken over by their respective endowments department. Chilkur Balaji temple in Hyderabad is an example where the hereditary archaks decided to embrace the hundi-‐less system to prevent the endowments department from taking over the temple administration.
In the lengthy judgment, the Supreme Court Bench clearly set the constitutional parameters on the scope of governmental intervention in the management of religious institutions. In particular, the Court opined that any government order that legally mandates a takeover of a temple must be for a fixed limited period.
It is not just the government control of temple administrations that is an issue but the sheer disregard of Hindu traditions at the hands of government officials along with colossal corruption that is now forcing an enlightened Hindu society to demand absolute religious freedom, including a constitutional right to administer their places of worship and religious institutions.
In what may be the most appalling instance of willful misdemeanor, disbursements to temples in Karnataka for renovation and maintenance between the periods 1997-‐98 to 2002-‐03 fell (more than halved) from Rs 16.5cr to Rs 7.1cr even as revenues collected from temples rose from Rs 58.63cr to Rs 79cr! This is just one of the many instances where the government’s control and interference has lead to undermining the interest of Hindu community.
The seminar is also an attempt to revisit the larger debate on how Hindu trusts should be managed sans government control, and to determine how devotees can take responsibility towards management of the temples. This is about discussing how Hindu trusts can be made transparent and accountable to the Hindu community.
We hope that you will be able to allocate coverage to this very important aspect of Indian society in your esteemed media outlet. Details of the program, time and venue are included in attached invite.
Should you need any clarification, please contact the undersigned.
Shri Amit Malviya [+91 98866 42263]
Smt Vijaylakshmi Vijayakumar [+91 98450 77999]
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