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Freeing temples from state control - Subramanian Swamy

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  • Sudhir-Architect
    Freeing temples from state control - Subramanian Swamy   Why only Hindu religious affairs need to be managed by the government. The obvious question, why
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2014
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      Freeing temples from state control - Subramanian Swamy
      Why only Hindu religious affairs need to be managed by the government. The obvious question, why should a ‘secular, socialist’ government control only Hindu places of worship, but not Muslim and Christian religious institutions.
      In fact, what is scandalous is the corruption after takeover of temples by the Tamil Nadu officials, MLAs and Ministers by looting the temple wealth, lands, and jewels, and the reckless diversion of donations of devotees to non-religious purposes.
      temple properties: Tamil Nadu temples, under Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department, has control over more than 4.7 lakh acres of agricultural land, 2.6 crore square feet of buildings and 29 crore square feet of urban sites of temples. By any reasonable measure, the income from these properties should be in thousand of crores of rupees. The government, however, collects a mere Rs.36 crore in rent against a ‘demand’ of mere Rs.304 crore — around 12 per cent realisation.
      The HR & CE takes away annually around Rs.89 crore from the temples as administrative fee. The expenditure of the department including salaries is only Rs.49 crore. Why does the government overcharge the temples– literally scourging the deities – for a sub standard service?
      Recently the government started covering the floor of Tiruvotriyur temple with marble, a stone never used in south Indian temples. The original floor was of ancient granite slabs with historical inscriptions. There are several initiatives for ‘renovation’ of temples — the bureaucrats rarely consult archaeologists or heritage experts. Without knowledge, experience, competence or appreciation and with great insensitivity they use inappropriate chemicals on ancient murals, insert concrete/cement structures, use ceramic tiles to ‘embellish’ sanctum sanctorum and construct ‘offices’ within temple premises. Ancient monuments 300 to 1000 plus years old are never ‘renovated’, only ‘restored’, a distinction that escapes the babus.
      There are several large temples in Tamil Nadu under government control for several decades. If the Supreme Court judgment is applied, then the government is in illegal, unethical and unfair control of these temples. apart from being answerable for innumerable acts of dereliction of duty, defiling of temples that has resulted in loss of several thousands of crores of rupees to the temples and to their antiquity. That is my next move — to liberate all Hindu temples presently in government control on expired GOs. In the future we need to bring some mosques and churches to rectify the mismanagement going on in these places. Then the secularism of India’s intellectuals will be truly tested.

      Thanks & Regards,

      Sudhir Srinivasan
      B.Arch, MSc.CPM, Dip.ID, Dip.CAD, Dip.PM, Dip.LD
      | Architect |

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