New Delhi, July 12: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has threatened to organise a nationwide protest if the Centre or the state governments go ahead with the plan to overtake Hindu shrines in the country. The VHP and other RSS-affiliated organisations have been alleging the government to be overtaking Hindu shrines but it does not muster courage to overtake shrines from any other religions.
The government plans to overtake Hindu shrines like Tirupathi, Sabrimala and many more but that had not only gone down well with the right-wing organisation but the community as such. VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain told OneIndia that the government wanted to acquire Hindu temple and mutt and wants its incomes to be used for other purposes than the welfare of Hindu society. Uttar Pradesh government too wanted to take control and develop Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan and Maa Vindhyavasini temple at Vindhyachal region in the Mirzapur district.
The Karnataka government set up a seven-member committee to suggest comprehensive changes in the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act. It is considering the inclusion of temples and mutts under the purview of this Act, popularly known as 'Muzrai' Act. The committee - headed by advocate and Karnataka Rajya Dharmika Parishad member N K Jagannivas Rao - had already met thrice and was likely to come up with the draft soon. Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act in Tamil Nadu has temples like Annamalaiyar Temple, Thiruvannamalai, Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Palani Murugan Temple, Palani, Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram, Jalakandeswarar Temple, Vellore, Baghavathiamman Temple,Kanyakumari and Thanumalayaswamy Temple,Suchindrum. An IAS belonging to any religion can control these Hindu temples.
VHP joint general secretary said that people who fail to run the government and their industry want to run religious shrines. The reform could be allowed in temples but not the takeover, there is a need to reform temples in the rural areas and in the remote but there the government would have to spend money there. Actually, the government wants to acquire such temples and mutt from where it could get earnings.
Jain said that mismanagement can be corrected but not taking over rich Hindu temple. Moreover the government cannot have two or many sets of rules for different communities. It must be similar for all as if rules are made for temples it must also be made for mosque, dargah and churches. The money given as religious endowments will not be allowed for Haj subsidy or anything like that. Does the government ever think about Ajmer Sharif dargah, Jama mosque or churches getting donations in India. It won't be allowed in the name of secularism.
Hindu money is being used for the so-called secular purpose and the secularism that is being practiced in India is to say the least, "ANTI-HINDU" in its core; which in Essence is the destruction of the Hindu Way of Life and the Hindu dharma (Sanatana Dharma), said the VHP joint generl secretary. Annual earnings of the Tirupathi Balaji temple is over Rs 4,000 crores, but only about 20 per cent of this amount is reported to be spent on this temple, and the rest i.e. about Rs 3000 crore is diverted every year by the State government of Andhra Pradesh (AP) for non-Hindu purposes, leaving Hindu priests poorly paid and Hindu pilgrims poorly looked after in terms of travel infrastructure, medical, hostel, food service facilities etc.
A classic example of the past is the subsidizing of the trips to Bethlehem by the Andhra Pradesh under YSR Reddy vide a notification, setting aside an amount of Rs. 70 crore for the pilgrimage to Bethlehem for Christians.