ANNOUNCEMENT: Seminar on Hindu Temples and Government Control.

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:

Press Release

 Hindu Temples and Government Control Seminar co–hosted by Jijnasa and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha (the apex body of Hindu religious leaders)

 Supported by

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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