AP Updates- About the Silent Revolution to liberate Temples

published on February 18, 2008

Compiled by Sri S.V.Badri, HDPS, Tirupati

Meeting with the CM of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy on 15th Feb, 2008

 Dated: 16th Feb, 2008

Background:

The AP Government brought out an Amendment to the Endowment Act, which brought 30,000 Temples out of the control of the Endowment Department. The Government had decided that these were “unprofitable” and “non-maintainable” Mandirs (Lesson: Mandirs are profit centres for the Government). The G.O. Passed by the Government had a devious plan that they would form a “Dharmika Parishad” and these Mandirs would be handed over to the Dharmika Parishad for administration and control. This would mean that the Endowment Department which was behind the current ruinous state of all these Mandirs would simply be replaced by another incompetent Board, which is camouflaged as “Dharmika Parishad” and the plunder would continue, unabated, under successive Governments. And those who could never be accommodated in the Assembly or Parliament or any of the State Boards, or any profitable positions, can now aspire to be on this Board, so they can be adequately compensated from the “Profitable” Mandirs. Simple. But this seems to make some political sense for the rulers.

 Therefore, it was decided by the Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti, AP supported by the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, U.S.A. and worldwide, during the Tirupati Bhakti Sangamam meet, that we should make a representation to the AP Government that we are totally opposed to the idea of a Government appointed “Dharmika Parishad” – a euphemism for the current Endowment Department. We wanted to tell the Government that we would like to form our own Bhakta Mandalis at Village, Town, District and State levels which would take over these Mandirs for direct day to day administration, by the Bhaktas themselves.

Dr.Subramanian Swamy who attended the Tirupati Bhakti Sangamam, approved of our idea and accepted our request to lead a delegation of members from the Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti and the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation to meet with the CM as also the leader of Opposition, AP, to submit a memorandum on our behalf and to appraise the CM on what should be done in this regard to ensure he is fair to the Hindus and our Mandirs.

The Delegation:

Dr.Subramnian Swamy – :President, Janata Party and Leader of our delegation Shri Kamal Kumar Swamiji – Gen. Secretary, HDPS, AP Shri Yalamanchi Prasad – Chairman, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, U.S.A. Shri Velugupudi Prakasa Rao – President- Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, USA. Shri M.Subramania Yadav – Vice President, HDPS, AP Smt Anita Sakuru – V.P. – HDPS, AP, Sri Dusserla Satyanarayana – President, HDPS, Telengana, AP Sri. Venkata Rao – Dharma Rakshana Samiti, AP, Sri S.V.Badri – HDPS, Tirupati

The Meeting:

The C.M. was hard pressed for time, being in the middle of the Budget Session of the A.P. Assembly. However, he was kind to receive us well and listen to our representation. Dr.Subramanian Swamy began by thanking the CM for his progressive beginning to render justice to the Hindus by taking 30,000 Mandirs off the Endowment control. He said that while this was a good beginning, what is NOT satisfactory to the Hindus is that the Government had preferred to appoint a “Dharmika Parishad”, which would only replace the existing Endowment Department and that there would be no change from the way Mandirs are currently administered. He briefly narrated that even in the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha convened recently on the 9th Feb; the Acharyas had given a call to free the Hindu Mandirs from the Endowment Departments and are willing to assist the Governments in the process of de-linking the Mandirs from the Government Control. Dr.Swamy stressed the need to take the advice of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in deciding who should constitute the Governing Body. He emphasized that the Hindu Dharmacharya Sabha should be the Dharmik Body that should decide on matters like these and the Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti would work under their guidance in AP to ensure smooth transition of the administration of these Mandirs. Mr.Prakasa Rao and Mr.Yalamanchili Prasad supported Dr.Swamy’s proposal and reminded the CM of their earlier interaction with him in the U.S.A. on issues pertaining to the Hindus.

 The CM asked us if the Hindus are satisfied that the first set of 30,000 Mandirs are to be given back for their own governance. For which, we replied that the step is in the right direction as the general mood suggests and the only objection that we have currently is in the formation of the Government sponsored Dharmik Parishad. He quickly understood the point made.

Finally, I got the opportunity for 15 seconds when I said that Hindus would be happy if he leaves it to the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha to constitute the Dharmik Parishad at the State Level and that the Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti would be the hands and limbs of the Acharya Sabha in Andhra Pradesh in giving the movement the grass root level penetration.

The CM said: I’ll do it;

When, a phone call from Ahmed Patel (read Sonia Gandhi), interrupted and we had to hurriedly move out of his chambers so he could privately discuss his party matters.

Observations: I felt that the CM was sincere in his receiving us and hearing us out, though we had only a few minutes with him. I also felt that, to him, the presence of Dr Swamy was imposing and he knew very well that Dr.Swamy would certainly resort to the Courts, should the Government decide against the interests of the Hindus on this issue.

Meeting with Shri Chandrababu Naidu, Leader of the Opposition, AP on 15th Feb, 2008

Background:

We decided that we would meet the Leader of the Opposition of AP also on the same issue. Because, we never know what will happen tomorrow in Politics!

Delegation:

The same people met Shri Chandrababu Naidu at his Banjara Hills Residence. He met with Dr Swami for a one-on-one for ten minutes after which we were ushered in.

The Meeting:

We highlighted the same points that we did to the CM, this time asking him to take the issue in the Assembly vociferously. Shri Naidu asked us politely (innocently?), if in any part of the world, the Christian Institutions, read the Church is administered by the Government. Sri Prakasa Rao and Sri Prasada Rao told him the facts that nowhere in the world, religious institutions are administered by the Government, expect in India and parts of Arab World. We also had longer time with him than with the CM, so could highlight points regarding discrimination of Hindus in India.

He “appeared” to be sympathetic to our cause and told us that he would do his best.

We handed over to him a memorandum similar to the one given to the CM but with appropriate corrections made.

Memorandum submitted under the leadership of Dr Subramanian Swamy, by the Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti, A.P. and Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, U.S.A., Regarding Implementation of Amended Endowment Act, 2007 and Protection of Hindu Temples in Andhra Pradesh to the:
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh ,Hon’ble Dr Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy garu,

1. The Government should give wide publicity through Press and Media regarding the new amendments made to the Endowment Act.

 2. There is a problem on who should be given the Administration of the Temples that come under 6 (c) . In order to find a solution to this, we suggest that the Government should seek our help in identifying the Village Dharmakartas, Bhajana and Bhakti Mandalis who would be most suited for such administration. Similar exercise should be undertaken in due process in areas which are known for political interference, over a period of well-defined time.

 3. The Fixed Deposits of the Temples which are now proposed to be brought out of the control of the Endowment Department, have vanished over a period of time due to errant officials. The Temples thus have been rendered supportless. The Government should take responsibility for this and announce a special package to the Temples in lieu of the Fixed Deposit Funds misappropriated.

 4. The Government should allot equal land to those Temples where Temple lands have been acquired by the Government for the irrigation projects and for those that have been submerged because of such projects. If the Government awards in terms of money, such money placed in Fixed Deposits have been misappropriated by the Administrating officials or the Management of the Temples. Therefore, we demand that land for land be compensated to the Temples.

5. The Government should not take any new Temples for Administration under the Endowment Act. An Ordinance should be issued to this effect.

 6. The landed property of the Temples in Towns and Cities should be put to use to construct Kalyana Mandapams, Shopping Complexes to generate income for the maintenance of those Temples. In respect of the Village Temples, the landed properties should be used to develop horticulture, Goshalas and income generating purposes. These incomes should go to the respective Temples.

 7. It is noticed that there are thousands of acres of endowed lands under illegal occupation of land grabbers in various towns and villages. These have not come into the account of the Endowment Department. The Government should pass an Ordinance not to register such lands and this should be published in every village Panchayat and Mandal Offices giving specific survey numbers and extent of such lands. Such lands if already registered, should not be regularized and the transaction should be declared null and void. The Government should take the responsibility to evict the encroachers and deliver the lands to the rightful owners, the respective Temples. The Government should pass an Ordinance of eviction of such encroachers, immediately.

 8. During the current Budget Session, the opening speech of the Hon’ble Governor of Andhra Pradesh had announced your Government’s decision that it will provide subsidy to the Christian passengers visiting Jerusalem. This is in addition to the Hajj subsidy already being provided to the Muslims. The Hindu voters are being systematically marginalized and discriminated against by the so called secular governments. We demand that no secular government should be biased towards one community. Therefore, to bring parity, we demand that the Government should extend similar facilities to the Hindu pilgrims visiting Hindu Temples abroad and within the country. These facilities should be proportionate to the population of the respective community. The Government should financially support pilgrims visiting Hindu Temples in Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bangladesh, USA, U.K. etc., The Government should consider special packages to those Hindus visiting Temples in Kasi, Rameshwaram, Tirupati, to their Ishta Devata and Kula Devata Temples etc.,

 9. The Government has announced creation of Patasalas for hereditary Archakas. However, it is the wife of the Archaka, who supports the Sampradayas, the traditions of the Archaka family. Therefore, it is demanded of the Government that it should establish Sampradaya Patashalas for women belonging to Archaka families, to protect the tradition. 10. The Government should work progressively towards dismantling the Endowment Department.

Signed: Machavolu Kamal Kumar, State General Secretary, Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti (HDPS) Velagapudi Prakasa Rao, President, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, U.S.A. Yelamanchi J Prasad, Chairman, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, U.S.A. Machapalli Subramania Yadav, State Vice President, HDPS, Anita Sakuru, State Vice President HDPS Dussarla Satyanarayana, President, HDPS, Telangana Dandamudi Venkata Rao, Dharma Rakshana Parishad, AP K.Komal Reddy, HDPS, Hyderabad S.V.Badri, HDPS, Tirupati

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