esamskriti
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What Hindus Need To Know

Why Must Temple Collections Be Controlled By The Indian Government
By Sanjeev Nayyar, June 2004 [esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net]

Chapter :

A couple of months ago the India Today magazine carried an article stating that in Karnataka state temple collections did not become part of the Temple Fund corpus but were credited to the State Treasury. Further the article stated that of the 70 odd crores collected in 2002 a meager 3-4 crores was used for temple maintenance.

A friend of mine from London, Jayant, always complained that we had such beautiful temples but did not maintain them well. I always blamed the temple management for being inefficient till I read the articles below. I then realized that in most cases temple collections became part of the State Treasury. And we all know how difficult it is to get the Governments to act!

I was shocked! When a Hindu goes to a temple and makes an offering to the Deity of his choice he assumes that the money/gold he donates to the temple would be used to maintain the temple or used by the temple trust to support poor Hindus, open schools & hospitals. BUT, in India it is different.

The following table gives you the Karnataka story. I quote Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Art of Living Foundation) from Arsha Vidya Newsletter of Dec 2003). He said “There are as many as 2,07,000 temples in Karnataka and the total income of these temples amounts to Rs 72 crore only a sum of Rs. 6 crores is being spent by the Government for their upkeep. On the other hand, the Government spent a phenomenal amount of Rs.50 crores for the madrasas and Rs.10 crores for the churches, and for the Hindu temples only a partly sum of Rs.6 crores is being spent”.

Statement of Temple Collections & Utilization 1997-2002. (Data received from the Revenue section of Tourism & Temples, Govt of Karnataka, excerpts from an article by Anjali Patel dated 29/10/2003 (anjali_patel111@yahoo.com).

Year

Temple Nos

Temple Revenue

Temple Expenses

Madrassa, Haj

% of Revenue

Church

Others

Others Description

1997

2,64,000

52.3

17.3

9.3

18

3.0

22.8

Rural,women development.

1998

2,67,073

58.3

16.5

14.3

25

5.0

22.6

Health Rural.

1999

2,67,000

67.3

15.0

27.0

41

8.0

17.3

N.A.

2000

2,62,038

69.9

13.7

35.0

50

8.0

13.2

Haj Victims

2001

2,54,038

71.6

11.5

45.0

63

10.0

5.1

N.A.

2002

2,51,012

72.0

10.0

50.0

69

10.0

2.0

N.A.

Total



391.4

84.0

180.6

20.7

44.0

83.0



$Mill



87.0

18.7

40.1



9.8

18.4



  $ are in Million Dollars exchange rate Rs 45 to a dollar.

I asked a few lawyer friends how the Government could transfer temple offerings to the Government Treasury. They brushed me off by saying that the matter is too complex. Thereafter I tried hard to get some information on the legal provisions that make government control of temples possible but for now, my efforts have not born fruit. Thereafter I contacted a few friends who forwarded me some interesting articles on the subject. I have reproduced them for you. The chapters are –

1.    Status of Hindu Temples by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
2.    Temple Legislations, Maharashtra by Dr. Shrikant Jitchkar.
3.    Hindu Temples and Endowment Boards Sri V.R. Gowrishankar.
4.    Nationalization of Hindu Temples by Sandhya Jain.
5.    A Looming Disaster by Siddharth Kak.
6.    Temple Funds diverted by Anjali Patel.
7.    We need Dharmic Councils by Krishan Bhatnagar.
8.    Temples, Andhra Pradesh.

Status of the Hindu Temples, Karnataka                   
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Art of Living Foundation, (Courtesy: Arsha Vidya Newsletter, Dec. 2003)
 
Synopsis    -    Need for frequent Acharya Sabha Meetings – Misuse of temple funds in Karnataka – The temple money should be spent solely for the requirements of the temples – Temples priests should be trained well – Temples should propagate Hindu Dharma – Hindus must have one voice.

Misuse of temple funds in Karnataka     -    There are as many as 2,07,000 temples in Karnataka and the total income of these temples amounts to 72 crores and only a sum of Rs. 6 crores is being spent by the Government for their upkeep. On the other hand, the Government spent a phenomenal amount of Rs.50 crores for the madrasas and Rs.10 crores for the churches, and for the Hindu temples only a partly sum of Rs.6 crores is being spent.

The temple money should be spent solely for the requirements of the temples    -   
In a period of five years 50,000 temples had been closed for want of funds and priests no more want to train their children in temple work. The temple money should be spent solely for the requirements of the temples and if this is done, no other grant will be required.

Temple priests should be trained well    -    Temple priests should be trained well so that they can talk to the devotees who come to the temples, as is being done in the churches.

Temples should propagate Hindu Dharma    -    Every major temple should take upon the responsibility of propagating the Hindu Dharma around their region. Their failure to do so has resulted in not only Dalits being converted but also other educated Hindus. This trend would continue if the priests were not looked after well and property trained.

Chapter :

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[2] Comment(s) Posted
  1. Comment By - Sushil Kumar Rana Date - 02 Jul 2013 Time - 3:09AM
  2. Congress is most corrupt political party, even they did not spare the religion. In the name of secularism they targeted the Hindu, just to polarise the Muslim vote bank. And now Janta Dal and Samajwadi Party are also following the Cogress.

  3. Comment By - Manasi A Satwaskar Date - 01 Nov 2010 Time - 9:03AM
  4. I agree


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