Monday, July 25, 2005

Liberate Temples – Demands Online Petition

jul 25th

forwarded by reader rama

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Liberate Temples – Demands Online Petition

It is an unusual petition to the President of India APJ Abdul Kalam
from Hindus spread across India and the whole world. The demand is to
leave the Hindu places of worship to the Hindu community alone. That
the secular governments withdraw from their administration, as is done
in the case of Christian and Muslim places of worship. The petition,
put up by an internet group `haindava keralam'  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/haindava_keralam/ with support of Shree Vidyadhiraja Vikasa Kendram in
Thiruvananthapuram is already signed by more than 1600 people from
across the world. This includes non-Hindus as well, who feel this a
gross injustice.

The Petitioners also demand that all the places of worship be taken
over by the government otherwise, Muslim, Christian, that there is
justice. Presumably triggered by the recent controversies over the
utilization of temple funds at the famous Guruvayoor temple in Kerala
the Petition has generated lot of interest in the people cutting
across states and regions. Problems at Sabarimala temple and the
Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh are also listed as in need of
intervention. The Tirupati temple is also in the news for all the
wrong reasons after the new Congress lead government took over.
Interestingly the two states are having non- Hindu Chief Ministers, as
some of the signatories point out. The petition has brought out a
diaspora of NRIs and the Hindu community spread over the world.

Apart from entrusting the administration of temples to those appointed
by secular governments the revenue generated at the temples, the
petition alleges, is taken for non-Hindu purposes in most places like
Tirupati, Sabarimala and Guruvayoor. What is impossible in the case of
the other communities. Since the other communities also get huge
amounts as international aid this becomes a double handicap for the
Hindu segment it adds. A major part of the donations received at the
Tirupati Tirumala Devastanam (TTD) in AP routinely goes to the state
exchequer as is the large amounts collected at the Sabarimala hill
temple in Kerala. Recently there was a controversy over the government
of Kerala diverting the revenues of the Lord Krishna temple at
Guruvayoor for building sewerage systems. This was opposed by the
local people and the Cochin Devaswom Board, under government of
Kerala, which runs the administration had to face a Court Case. The
decision of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to give temple
related work to members of the Christian community had also created
dissent in the state.

The petition, created by the online group `haindava keralam' hosted at
the portal www.petitionsonline.com (accessible at http://www.petitiononline.com/41207/petition.html )
calls it an aberration in the secular policy of the government of
India. The large number of people who have signed the petition calls
it unfortunate that the Hindu community has to suffer discrimination
in India itself. While some call it a folly initiated during the
regime of Jawaharlal Nehru when secularism came to mean being
anti-Hindu others found it an irony that the Hindu nationalist
government under the NDA did nothing to change the anomaly. There are
also few supporters for the cause from western countries who feel that
the continuity of the Sanatana Dharma is a need of the world itself.
That Government of India corrects its policy with regard to Hindu
temples. Some comments allege that there is rampant corruption in
getting appointed to the posts in the Devaswom Board in Kerala, body
managing temple affairs under the state government. Where the money
goes to non-Hindu leaders.

The petitioners fear that it is time this old mistake is made good as
it can lead to communal polarization and turmoil. It was during the
British colonial period that the community owned places of worship
were taken over which continued to be run by the government even after
independence. Being under the government there is no guarantee that
the administrators at the higher levels are from the Hindu faith.
There are also gross violations of ethics where the government,
already taking the revenues, ask money from the temples as price of
land. Thus in Sabarimala the Ministry of Environment and Forests
demanded Rs. 6 crores from the Travancore Devaswom Board, apex body in
charge of temples, for 50 ha. of forest land badly needed for pilgrim
facilities. That despite Sabarimala generating huge revenues for the
state for the last several decades.

It may be noted that there is an ongoing debate over the allocation of
forest lands to Sabarimala and the latest reports tell that the forest
lands shall not be transferred to the temple despite the payment.
Which puts conditions on its use. It is an irony as the forest hills
surrounding this temple, known as the `Poonkavanam', belonged to the
temple in pre-British times. Temples in Kerala were taken over by Gen.
Watts and Col. Munro, British Residents, in the early days of British
colonization. They also made changes in the temple rituals and
management. What continues to this day unquestioned. The petitioners
want that the management of the temples be left to the Hindus, handed
over to the community kept and under the guidance of competent Hindu
saints.

This will ensure that the revenues generated are pooled in to the
needs of the deserving in the Hindu community and not frittered away
for various purposes. That way various Hindu places of worship now in
turmoil shall be benefited and also the poor among the community. It
will also help arrest the rampant conversions of the poor Hindus to
Christianity lured by the moneyed missionaries. The petitioners allege
that faith and trade were used to subjugate as history tells and fears
that the same thing will repeat in India. They underline the urgent
need for having a country wide uniform code for administration of
temples managed by the Hindu community, where the government does not
interfere. It is a novel form of protest and seems to have generated a
lot of curiosity among the people, though whether the President will
see it at all is a matter of speculation. As some experts tell the
post-colonial protocols at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan may hardly give
space to this kind of representations.

7 comments:

Kalyani said...

The current President might be knowledgeable about missiles; in fact many of his predecessors were so lacklustre and good for nothing, that he shines by contrast(except for Sri.Rajendra Prasad and Sri.Radhakrishnan).

There are reasons for my scepticism. He has never taken a forthright stand on Sri Ramar temple at Ayodhya, save some prosaic,platitudinous advice(!)that both 'communities'should try to maintain peace, be mature and concentrate on making India a superpower by 2050(doomed to wallow in despair till then?!Somebody enlighten me, what is so special about 2050, given ,these 'rational scientists' pillory astrology as a rule).

When one of the Presidential bodyguards raped a college student in Delhi,(recently),the culprit was "punished"(sic,sic)by being made to serve in our border for three months!!Not a word of apology or consternation from him(so much for the possession of "wings of fire").

Yes,he impresses several countries on his sojourns, as he is academically well qualified . Our eunuchy media went into raptures when he had "saambar vadai"etc in Iceland crowing India is going places!Of course,all our leaders are perennially concerned about the welfare of our country,so is he.

His "secular credentials"were much talked about as he could quote from Gita and had visited Kanchi matham(mutt). When our Acharyas were arrested on patently fabricated charges,did he take any action? Desperate situations need desperate measures,right? I know many would defend him, claiming he prevented sonia from becoming PM.Yes indeed.Instead she has become the Nefarious ...........(fill up the blanks,your choice).Who checkmated who?

People like Rajeev Sreenivasan who, despite being academically brilliant etc, also, profoundly and genuinely yearn for the restoration of India's pristine glory are few.Certainly not Narayana Murthys and Abdul Kalams.

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered... how come BJP/VHP/RSS and other organizations claiming to represent Hindus haven't filed any PILs on this...? Instead they'd rather waste their time and energy on petty issues.

Anonymous said...

Hi rajeev,

Another example of Communist hypocrisy in India:

Tokyo needn’t worry, it will never happen in Bengal: CPM govt

URL:
http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=75181

Anonymous said...

Central license for Minority loot:
Minority-run institutions to have a free run

http://newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IER20050727031738&Page=R&Title=Kerala&Topic=0&

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Japanese are no better colonialists or exploiters than the other nations when it comes to India. http://www.hindu.com/2005/07/28/stories/2005072806201000.htm

What is this forum's opinion on the latest clash between the Honda labourers and the Honda company?

san said...

Here's an article in International Herald Tribune on Why Islam is Rooted in Conquest

IHT is always a heavy hitter.

hindu said...

I totally second this article. this is exactly what i said in my comment on your earier post (from sandya jain on thirumala and shabarimala ) .

Also check out my page Mathrubhumi from time to time.