Kerala government in a bid to take over temples?

via Mahadev,Kochi, Nov 03 published on November 3, 2005

 Several Hindu leaders have strongly opposed the Kerala government’s reported decision to bring out an ordinance to control the temples in Kerala presently administered by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

     The state cabinet had taken a decision to stop all the recruitments to the temples and its other establishments and a directive to this effect had been sent to the Board on Wednesday.

     Speaking to HK today, Mr Kummanam Rajasekharan, General Secretary, Hindu Aikya Vedi said “the government’s decision is an encroachment on the freedom of worship of the Hindus”. To eliminate corruption there are a number of machineries with the government. If it has come to the notice of the government that there is corruption in the TDB it could initiate prosecution process against those suspected people allegedly involved in such activities . For that stopping the appointments nor bringing out an ordinance to control the activities of the temples is not the solution. The intention of the rulers in Kerala, therefore, does not seem to be to bring in transparency in the recruitment process of the TDB or to create a peaceful atmosphere in its operations. “What they are aiming at is to capture the wealth of the temples in Kerala”.

     For instance, violent fights between two denominations of the Christian church, to one of which the Chief Minister belongs, have been going on in the state and can the government come out with a decision to issue an ordinance to take over these churches, he asked.

     Meanwhile, Mr Vellapally Natesan, General Secretary, SNDP told HK that it was an encroachment on the Hindus. “By taking the name of corruption the government is moving ahead to take control of the temples in the state”. If there is corruption in appointments they should have taken measures to make it transparent instead of staying the recruitment and going ahead with issuing an ordinance, he said. Though they have been talking about corruption in the TDB it had not been proved so far. “Does the government has the courage to talk about taking over the places of worship of organized religions”, he asked. There is a conspiracy behind this move as some people in the government were covertly operating to force the TDB to implement a Rs1,000 crore development project in Sabarimala under BOT which the Board had rejected, he alleged.

     At present the TDB functions fall under the jurisdiction of the High Court hence the government cannot interfere. The objective behind the decision is to bring it out of the Court’s purview and hence government could interfere. Recently, there had been opposition to the government’s decision to use the funds of the Guruvayoor Devaswom for providing drinking water to the Panchayats and for development projects in predominantly Muslim populated areas. Once the administration of the temples are taken over the funds of the temples could be deposited in government treasuries and utilize it to the benefit of the non-Hindus, a senior Devaswom official alleged. They seem to be out to take back the autonomy enjoyed by the TDB, he said.

     The decision acquires momentum as it has emanated at a time when the Hindus are talking about unity. It is a test dose to see how far the Hindus are united, a senior Journalist opined. Though various caste organizations have been vociferously talking about bringing all the Hindus under one umbrella they are still not ready to transcend their selfish interests and so long as they are unable to severe their ties with the anti-Hindu political parties the so-called Hindu unity would remain only superficial. It is evident from the recent elections to the local bodies where both the major Hindu communities claimed to have got more people of their castes elected. But how these elected members who may be Hindus by name would be helpful to the community when they are to be abide by the party diktat.

     How is it going to help the Hindus if a communist is elected in the forthcoming Thiruvanathapuram parliamentary by-election, just because the candidate belongs to a particular Hindu caste. Similarly, will the congress candidate stand by the Hindus. The Hindu voters have yet to realize that it is the very Hindus of the Congress and the Communism who are behind the anti Hindu ordinances

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