Since independence, Hindu religious institutions are gradually being taken over by the state government to control their resources. The management boards which control temples are mostly headed by some ‘esteemed academician’ who doesn’t even believe in God or doubt the existence of one. The priests are not allowed to interfere in the management of temples, and are finally getting fed up of these corrupt board managers.
The plain and shocking truth is that successive, supposedly secular governments which have ruled in upwards of 60 years at the center till 2014 and at various state levels have been controlling, selling-off, distributing, and profiting from the collections of Hindu temples. The fact is that an offering made by a Hindu devotee in good faith can be siphoned-off to feed the coffers of Governments or directed elsewhere to provide grants to Christian and Muslim places of worship and education. Christian and Muslim establishments on the other hand have full autonomy with regard to the funds, administration, and assets of their places of worship and education. This led to the coining of the word “Reverse Discrimination” by Swamy Dayananda Sarasvati. India is probably the only country where in the name of secularism the majority community has been continuously discriminated against, in all walks of life.
The latest take over of Hindu Temple by Government took place in Karnataka. The Uttara Kannada administration on Wednesday took over Sri Mahabaleshwara temple of Gokarna.
According to a New Indian Express report, last month, High Court asked Sri Ramachandrapur Mutt of Shivamogga, which was handling the temple for the last 10 years to hand over the temple back to the Endowment Department.
The Mutt challenged the High Court’s decision in the Supreme court but the apex court upheld the orders of Karnataka High Court. The temple was earlier managed by the trustees. However, in 2008, the then Yeddyurappa government handed over the management of the temple to the Ramachandrapur Mutt. Now, it has been handed over to the Overseeing Committee led by Uttara Kannada Deputy Commissioner S S Nakul.
This is appalling. A secular state has no right to control religious institutions. But the twisted concept of Indian Secularism permits the state to selectively control Hindu Temples while allowing Mosques, Madrassas and Churches a completely free hand. Hindu temples are facing an assault from ‘secular’ state governments all across the country. These governments under various Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) Acts, control our temples.
Control of Hindu religious institution violates the following constitutional rights of Hindus:-
Article 14 — Equality before Law. The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
Article 15 — Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Article 25 — Freedom of Religion.
(1) Subject to public order, morality, and health…, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.
(2)(a) Nothing in this article shall… prevent the State from making any law regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice.
Article 26 — Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs. Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right.
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