Corruption is a way of life in Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Yusuf, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    TIRUPATI: The Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams (TTD) not only manages one of the most revered temples in India but is also the richest temple board in the country. With a mammoth Rs 2,000-crore annual budget, 10,000 staffers in 98 wings, it is not surprising therefore that the menace of corruption has seeped into its system.

    "It's a mini state in itself, giving rise to corruption at every level ," says a senior temple official. Right from the time a pilgrim gets down at Tirupati to catch a bus to the Tirumala hills for a darshan, has his head tonsured, obtains an appointment with the joint executive officer for accommodation, buys laddu prasadam, he has to grease the palms of employees and agents.

    Corruption has became a norm, '1+1' has become the code word to get things done. By this, a pilgrim has to pay double of what he is entitled for a service. Madhava Reddy, an onion trader from Hindupur , had the bitter experience of shelling out Rs 5,000 to a tout recently. "Though an AC room costs Rs 1,500, I had to spend Rs 5,000 since they took Rs 1,500 as commission towards accommodation (under 1+1 scheme) and Rs 2,000 more for darshan and prasadam," he said. Reddy says that he had to depend on the agents because the other option was to run from pillar to post to get recommendation letters for darshan/accommodation from a top official or an MLA. "It's institutionalized corruption as an artificial demand is created by the staff in cahoots with brokers ," points out a former executive officer of TTD. At Kalyanakatta, where pilgrims offer their hair in fulfilment of their vows, tonsuring service is free or one can take Rs 10 tokens. But here there is no 1+ 1, it is worse. lEvery barber takes Rs 50-100 from each pilgrim. There are over 500 barbers. The union president of barber association, was caught handing over the day's moolah to the superintendent on a close circuit camera last year. The official was suspended but later reinstated. Insiders say that after that episode whenever barbers take money, they look straight into the cameras to avoid detection.

    Then, there are TTD publications counters at various places atop the hill, which are always under lock and key. If pilgrims want to buy books, they have to walk 5 km from the main temple. "Thousands of books are printed at the TTD printing press. Corruption in this wing alone runs into Rs 150 crore," alleges advocate Srinivas.

    Similarly, there are several AC rooms for pilgrims. But the ACs are always under repair. "There are no records on how many ACs are in working condition but they keep placing orders for new ACs," says a former official not wanting to be named.

    Also Read: 21-hour wait for fleeting darshan of the Lord

    Is Lord Balaji temple at Tirumala only for VIPs?

    Contractors mint money from laddus

    The vigilance and enforcement (V&E ) department of AP government, which probed the multi-crore Srivari Arjitha seva ticket scam in 2009, charged the TTD board and administration of colluding with hoteliers and travel agents. The seva and darshan tickets were sold to hotel managements and travel agencies for a higher price which, in turn, sold them to devotees at an even higher price. "The V&E found an ex-chairman of TTD guilty of having booked in 2008 seva tickets worth lakhs of rupees in the name of members of his family until the year 2060. But no action was taken," a senior IAS officer who served TTD explains.

    Institutional corruption is often seen in production of laddus -- 1.5 lakh are made every day. The marketing wing procures besan flour, sugar, ghee, cashew nuts, raisins, almonds and cardamom in bulk at the auction at the Commodities and Spices Exchange in Kochi. "But some times, the stocks are bought from suppliers and contractors from Nellore, Bangalore and Delhi. The contractors supply inferior quality stocks but claim money for top grade ingredients since they would have to give a cut to the officials," says former deputy executive officer V Naidu.

    TTD has a separate diesel depot. But no one has a clue as to how much petrol/diesel is bought and siphoned off. Senior officials like deputy director, assistant/deputy executive officer, OSD are given special motor car advance with free issue of 150-250 litres of fuel every month. "They exhaust the quota and obtain the fuel through other means for which no account is shown," claims retired deputy executive officer Prabhakar Reddy. TTD executive officer L V Subramanyam was not available for comments.

    The Public Accounts Committee, in its special report, had recommended that adequate internal controls should be in place. But the recommendations of the report are yet to be implemented. A senior official says there should be a research and analysis wing which is independent of government and TTD control to keep tabs on all the wings to check corruption. With over 20,000 dalaris (agents) at work, it's hard to believe that TTD would ever be corruption-free !

    http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/12436087.cms
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Politics, Defence, wakf, devasthanam. :facepalm:
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Corruption is way of life in India. So what's new in wake, tirupati, defense or any other scam. We have to resign to our fate and do nothing about it. If we do something then we are cutting our own blood vessels :D
     
  5. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    So much money and its bound to happen, they melted tons of gold the kings gave to the temple. Thuripathi is 100times richer than what we saw in that Kerala temple. Krishnadevarai himself had stocked huge fortunes there. All is gone.. :(
     
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  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Add Gurudwaras also
     
  7. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    Tirupati devadasam board is managed by andhra pradesh govt, appointed personnel, right? So how come this is a problem of the temple people?
     
  8. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thirutu vahila sambadichadu Kaila nikadhu.
    That seems to be the case here.
     
  9. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Many more in the pipe line ready to be exposed. What will they think of next?
     
  10. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    This is the problem with Govt appointed Devasthanams...they totally ----ed up the way Temples were run with inexperienced idiots who had no commitment or belief to it...

    Let me narrate the TN example as I feel it will closely resemble the TTD one...Until the Govt was interfering almost every Temple was managed by hereditary Dharmakarthas whose families were involved in some big way in the construction of the temple long back and they looked after the temple carefully and did the work as a service to God without going into monetary benefits...but after Govt took over the administration and started appointing their cronies, many of them politically motivated, this traditional time tested system was lost in a major way and corruption started seeping in.....those cronies could not care less for the upkeep of the temples and only the money was what they cared for...now Devasthanams all over the state are just money minting machines for the government with nothing being given back to the devotees or even being spent on the upkeep of the temples.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    TIRUPATI: When Pallava king Thondaiman sang in praise of Perumal (Lord Venkateswara) and built the temple 1,900 years ago, little did the world know that one of the most revered Hindu gods had a little mischief hidden in the ever flowing 'Perumal jalam' (Viraja nadi waters) on which the Moolavirat stands in the form of boundless wealth. That treasure now flows seamlessly and is worth over a mind-numbing Rs 1,00,000 crore and still counting. The coffers (read hundi offerings) of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) alone receive about Rs 600 crore of offerings from pilgrims every year.

    The Lord is weighed down not only by the prayers and requests of lakhs of pilgrims, but also by more than 12,000 kg of gold, ornaments and other precious jewels and 11,000 kg of silver worth over Rs 50,000 crore. The 8-feet black-coloured main idol is loaded up with at least 65-70 kg of gold ornaments every day and it is estimated that in a single day offerings to the Lord ranges between Rs 80 lakh and Rs 1.5 crore. A single crown studded with diamonds and rubies weighs about 30 kg and worth lakhs. The dome of the shrine- called 'Ananda Nilayam' - is coated with gold by Vijayanagara king Sri Krishnadevaraya. The Lord also sits over cash deposits worth Rs 10,000 crore.

    Not to forget, the Tirumala temple owns land valued at thousands of crores across the country. Following a directive from AP High Court in 2009, the TTD and the AP government did a survey on TTD land taking into account the cottages, choultries and other structures (not temples) and the land holding was found to be 4,200 acres. "The land was worth Rs 33,500 crore as per conservative government valuation. As per present market value, it could easily touch Rs 90,000 crore," a senior TTD official points out. Apart from properties and wealth of the Tirumala temple, TTD controls over 40 temples which are in possession of over 100 kg of gold ornaments and 100 kg of silver. In many cases, the donations are unusually generous. Mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, in Bangalore jail now, offered a diamond-studded crown worth Rs 42 crore to the Lord two years ago. Officials claim that the images of the jewels and golden utensils are stored along with their descriptions and information on the donors by maintaining 13 registers called `Thiruvabharanams.' "The main deity and the processional deities are adorned with 1,100 varieties of jewels," a temple official explains. TTD deposits over 4,000 kg of gold in nationalized banks and piece and ornamental gold in the Mumbai mint for converting them into dollars in various denominations for sale to the pilgrims.

    The TTD treasury called 'Bokkasam' is where the precious gold and ornaments are stored. But it came under scanner in June 2006 after 300 gold dollars worth Rs 15.40 lakh went missing. Bokkasam clerk `Dollar' Seshadri was nailed in a vigilance report but Seshadri is back and is seen with the high and mighty inside the temple portals. "TTD Board Rules of 1990 stipulate an annual verification and inventory taking of the jewellery. A physical verification by a senior officer must be conducted but this is not being strictly followed," points out member of Tirumala Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi S Susheela. Gold necklaces as long as 15-18 ft, crowns studded with emeralds, rubies and diamonds -- symbols of the Krishnadevaraya royalty -- were taken stock of by a panel from the Mines and Minerals Trading Corporation of India, which submitted a valuation report to the High Court. The report said that the antique jewellery of the Lord was worth several thousands of crores.

    "The value of the Lord's properties and wealth is almost equal to the AP's budget of Rs 1.4 lakh crore. But there is always a question mark on the TTD's ability to protect the Lord's properties," auditor Lakshman Rao says. The TTD has also other sources of income through the sale of Arjitha seva tickets (Rs 300 crore a year), special entry tickets (Rs 300 crore), human hair (Rs 300 crore) and laddus (Rs 100 crore). "Without sevas and rituals also, pilgrims will continue to flock Tirumala and donate liberally. Such is the power of Lord Venkateswara," Chakravarthy Raghavan of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidya Peeth says.

    Is Lord's property safe in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams hands? - The Times of India
     
  12. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Its the same with Wakf boards. All appointees and ruling party lackeys and then they illegally sell land or lease it at dirt cheap prices while pocketing hefty bribes.

    The only way is to increase awareness and force the budgets and financial statements to be made public and bring them under RTI.
     
  13. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Why you all jelly when somebody makes money ? :troll:
     
  14. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    They are plain bullshitting TTD is doing an admirable job with respect to Tirupathi .You don't the sheer amount of Mob management they do .They also are doing great yeomens service to Chittor and Rayalseema districts.Tirupathi as a temple has a slightly different kind of adminstration when compared to other temples.In Tirupathi Shudras especially those from the Nayak stock call the shots since the 500 years and they did an admirable of protecting the temple from all sort of sundry (Hindu&Muslim).
     
  15. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    TTD has a shadow organization of the Families who actually protected the temple and they have a lot of power behind the scenes
     
  16. plugwater

    plugwater Elite Member Elite Member

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    I am going to apply for a job over there :D
     
  17. lcatejas

    lcatejas Regular Member

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    These ass^%$6 started in shirdi too...:frusty: there is no corruption free place in India...thanks to our great politician...
     

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