The on-going loot of Hindu temples continues.....

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by A.V., Jul 28, 2011.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,503
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Moscow, russia
    By MV Kamath

    It is time some one 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.
    WHILE Congress leaders are hell-bent on damning the RSS – it is an old game that has long ceased to have any meaning – they seem to be unaware (or deliberately wish to ignore) that as late as on July 4, 2010 the right hand of a 53-year old Christian college professor (one TJ Joseph) was chopped off by Muslim fundamentalists, at Thodapurzha, Iduki district, in Kerala, for alleged blasphemy.

    Digvijay Singh probably doesn't want to be reminded of this. Nor, one suspects, would he be anxious to know that police found out that this heinous crime was committed as part of the implementation of the verdict of a Shariah court run by fundamentalist elements in Kerala. The police apparently discovered that 14 such parallel courts have been running in Kerala for the last twenty years and Kerala State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has been reported as confessing that since 1993, twenty two murders have taken place under the direction of the Shariah courts in Kerala (vide, Mangalam Daily Kottayam, July 21, 2010).

    Digvijay Singh can check this bit of information as could Rahul Gandhi. At the same time, they could both check out on the performance of The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act of 1951 which 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 they choose.

    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 reading. 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 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 madrassahs 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 temples. 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 state's 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 action that play against the Hindu community go on without much or any attention attracted to them".

    Knapp obviously is on record. If the 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 government's 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 public good? 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 some one 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.
     
    balai_c, Vyom, sob and 1 other person like this.
  2.  
  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    6,359
    Likes Received:
    3,664
    Location:
    New Delhi
    This is on of the definitions of secularism as per our esteemed politicians cutting across all political lines bar none.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  4. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    328
    The article is good on facts, but it sounds provocative.

    Is he trying to imply that this ought to be done to be heard?
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    6,359
    Likes Received:
    3,664
    Location:
    New Delhi
    No he is implying that only the crying baby gets the milk.
     
    Vyom likes this.
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    If such a loot of temple resources is happening, it is a genuine concern and it should be used for the welfare of the temple and its community and poor Hindus under the supervision of the trustees. My understanding was that under the endowments acts, there Hindu only civil services officers are appointed and this allows the money to be accounted for by the public at large rather than leaving it in the hands of private individuals.

    One of the main requests of the Muslim community is to actually have an endowments acts for Muslims too. Where Muslim civil officers appointed by the govt. would be accountable for the management of wakf properties. The examples of govt. setup temple boards is always brought up in discussions because atleast you can check audit reports and legally summon the trustees and force them to react to RTI applications. Currently Wakfboard appointees don't have any such legal requirements.

    Currently there is huge loot of wakf properties which are sold away or rented out at insanely low amounts as the laws are just not there to centrally manage these properties. The Sachar committee among its recommendations talks about a Wakf civil service where Muslim IAS officers can manage these properties similar to the Hindu endowment act.

    I think only the "Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act" is something that is close to what the temples have. The center manages the appointees and has powers to account for the offerings received. And this was welcomed by the Muslim MPs and not forced either.
    The Hindu : Dargah Khwaja Act to be amended

    Again, each community should be given the choice on how it should be managed but I would be not far off if I say that it seems that Muslims would like to have a centrally managed board for Wakf properties if only to reduce to misuse and to have better access to accounting information. For example, you can use the RTI to get infromation on Dargah Khwaja Saheb and I would assume that temple trusts because they come under the govt. purview would be under the RTI as well. Corruption is everywhere in our society and unless people are kept on their toes by filing RTI requests we won't be able to know where this money is going and who is looting it.

    -----------------------------------
    Anyways, just a few points on the on some side issues in the article.

    Not to cast aspersions on the article but Stephen Kapp is the same person who claims that Taj Mahal was a temple too. What I found interesting is this.
    Knapp obviously is on record. If the facts produced by him are incorrect, it is up to the government to say so.
    Why not put in a PIL or an RTI? How would the govt. know about these allegations? And after all which govt.? This is usually a state subject.

    Also, the hand chopping incident was widely condemned by Kerala muslim organizations including the radical PFI to which the youth belonged. They were arrested and charged by the police swiftly thankfully. And even some muslim youth groups organised blood donation for TJ Joseph. There was no support shariah court or otherwise for such a heinous act The Hindu : News : Attack against Islamic tenets: Muslim leaders

    Besides, I was surprised to see such a huge bill being paid by the Karnataka govt. for Haj subsidy. This money should spent on welfare and helping poorer sections of the society. I thought it would be paid by the Centre and as has been made clear to anyone who follows the Haj subsidy issue, the Muslim community DOES NOT want it. There is no direct benefit to muslims either. That is why the UPA govt. launched the process of ENDING haj subsidy by 2013 in a phased approach. The Hajj has to be done by a pilgrims own money and can't be done by diverting temple offerings. It would be unacceptable and immoral to do so.
    Muslim leaders back cutting Haj subsidy - Hindustan Times

    I have gone through the Karnataka Budget for this year but could'nt find any entry for temples or Haj subsidy for that matter. If someone can find information from a govt. website it would be helpful. If its true, I would like to know so that I can raise this issue as well.
    http://www.kar.nic.in/finance/bud2010/ktb.htm
     
  7. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,620
    Likes Received:
    2,390
    I would not mind if they use the treasures used from Hindu temples to strengthen the army provided nothing goes into kickbacks or we can a Hindu Vatican style state in India?
     

Share This Page