Namma Devasthana together with Jijnasa CESS, Dharmic Action and Temple Worshippers Society (Chennai) is organizing a seminar on “Autonomy for Hindu Temples” on Saturday, 20 June 2015 in Bangalore. IndiaFacts Research Centre is the media partner for the event. It is well known that major temples in South India are under the control of the Government. However, what is lesser known is how exactly this control is exercised or how the funds collected are used and towards what purpose.
While the Indian constitution in its preamble says that India is a secular republic, in practice, control has been exercised only on Hindu institutions and in a highly bureaucratic and deleterious way. Much of the revenue from temples is put into the State’s coffers and, of that, only a small fraction goes into the upkeep of the temples with the major chunk going to the same bureaucracy, which actively stifles the functioning of the temple as a living ecosystem.
This seminar examines some policy options such as autonomy and governance from a current temple administrator’s perspective as well as from a historical perspective. It also discusses how the legal institutions have interpreted the constitution and the unfavourable environment in which Hindu institutions function currently. The seminar will also examine how in spite of such serious difficulties, many efforts are underway to restore temples as an active ecosystem.
Finally, the seminar discusses how the RTI Act provisions can be used to obtain basic information of the current functioning of temples and how a concerned citizen can get involved. The seminar closes with an inspirational documentary about how a dilapidated temple was restored in Tamil Nadu by harnessing the initiatives and energies of many concerned citizens and organizations. The seminar is free and open to all. Details are in the brochure below.
To register for the seminar, please click on this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/