'Government should not interfere in temple affairs'

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Thane, Nov 16 (UNI) Shankaracharya Swami Narendranand Saraswati of Kasi Sumeru Peeth has said the government should not interfere in the affairs of the temples in the country.

He was addressing a news conference at Lord Parshuram Temple in Chiplun in Ratnagiri district. The seer led the ''Parashuram Yatra'' to the temple on the auspicious occasion of ''Labh Panchami''.

Chiplun wore a festive look with welcome arches and huge banners welcoming the Shakaracharya and the ''Yatris''. The Shankaracharya performed ''pooja'' and ''abhishek'' of the presiding deity in the temple.

The Shankaracharya said the temples should be allowed to function independently and the priests should be allowed to conduct the daily ''pooja'' without any hinderance. The government does not provide any assistance to the temples, so why should it try to control the temples?'' he asked.

He said the funds collected at the temples should be used exclusively for the purpose of the temples.

In reply to a question, he alleged the government was planning to have people from other communities on the trustees board of the Tirupati temple. This is not proper, he said.

To another question on Ram temple at Ayodhya, the seer said it was not just a matter of another temple as there are thousands of such temples across the country. Rather, it is the question of Babar's memorial. ''Why should such a memorial be in Ayodhya? It can be in Delhi like other rulers,'' he said.

Replying to yet another question, he said religious heads should not dance to the tunes of the politicians. There is, however, no harm in politicians taking advice and blessings from religious heads, he said.


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