Why is a secular Govt. controlling the religious places of the Hindus alone; Kummanam Rajasekharan

By HK published on December 9, 2015

Pathanamthitta: General Secretary of Hindu Aikya Vedi Kummanam Rajashekharan has alleged that it is nothing but a mere display of shrewd histrionics that has taken place in the State Legislative Assembly on Monday, well orchestrated by Congress Ministers VS Shivakumar and VD Satheesan. The drama was staged in order to camouflage the glaring injustice being meted out to temples by ruling governments, the indifference being shown regarding matters of temple administration and their subsequent total negligence, said the iconic Hindu leader.


“No Hindu organization has, till date, ever stated that the government is ever taking away temple wealth. Devaswom Boards, which have been formulated according to special acts, are bodies that are self reliant, having their will to execute matters independently. Hindu organizations have the basic common sense to gauge that the government cannot lay their hands on their wealth,” said Kummanam while addressing the press.

Reminding the state government about the charter submitted three years ago to the Chief Minister, seeking rights for Hindus, Kummanam said that 15 out of the 129 points that needed to be addressed are related to temples.”Nowhere has it been stated that the government has laid hands on temple funds. But, by manipulating statements and thereby resorting to false propaganda that Hindu organizations have been staking such claims, the government is trying to drive home a fictitious point that the ruling bodies have done whatever is required for temples. This is solely with the aim of manipulating matters politically and that is what the Devaswom minister and VD Sateesan are trying to do,” he said.

Highlighting that Hindu organizations have always resisted and opposed temple administrative systems alone, Kummanam said that the query put forth by members of the Hindu community is very genuine. “When the government is secular, why it that they insist on their rules and regulations being implemented only in Hindu temples? Congress leaders have been evasive and have been dodging this issue all the time,” he said, stressing the need for fresh regulations and laws regarding temple governance.

Driving home the point that temples have to be and should be governed by devotees who throng the sacred space, Kummanam pointed out the need to free the existing laws which are politically bound, by acknowledging this basic concept. “KP Sankaran Nair Commission of 1983 had highlighted this aspect and had recommended initiation of the concept. Court orders that came successively endorsed the same. But the state government has still not withdrawn itself from the rule of Devaswom Board,” said Kummanam.

Adding that out of the 13000 temples, only 2000 stood under the purview of Devaswom Board, Kummanam said, “Rest is under administration committees of formed by devotees.”

With regard to the Devaswom minister’s stand on Sabarimala temple, about how “revenue from Sabarimala temple is being spent on the upkeep of 1300 other temples under Travancore Devaswom Board” and that “out of this, only 30 temples are self reliant”, Kummanam sought to know why the Devaswom Board was so insistent on running administration of temples, which they claim are running at a loss. “Why can’t administration of such temples, which they claim are running under a loss, be handed over to committees formed by devotees? Instead of resorting to those numerous innovative and resourceful concepts, the government is taking stock of temple wealth under the pretext of propaganda. This is highly deplorable!”

“Currently, what the government is handing over is not temple grants, but a kind of annuity for the reclaimed temple land. In 1811, when Col Munroe took over temples and temple wealth, an annual compensatory amount of 15 lakh paranellu (1 para=8kg) , 20 lakh paranellu as sanchayam (lease measurement for grains ) was allotted to temples. In 1907, Ramachandra Rao Commission pointed out how temples suffered a loss of two crore rupees on an annual basis. Therefore, the annual compensatory amount which is being handed over to temples is a minuscule amount. Over 50% of the revenue land which has been taken over by state government belongs to temples. In 1983, Sankaran Nair Commission pointed out that five and a half crores at the least should be handed over to temples as compensatory amount. Till date, no government has bothered to take these issues into consideration,” lashed out Kummanam.

Seeking to know the government’s stand on the loss of temple land Kummanam said, “On 25 June 2014, it was stated openly in the state legislative assembly how temples faced a loss of 10,000 hectares of land. To this belongs the Devaswom land, which is under the state government. Take the instance of land that falls under Irinjalakuda Devaswom Board, which has willfully been taken over by government. It has been proved beyond doubt that the land at Aluva Manappuram is temple land. But the government and the municipality have refused to acknowledge the same.”

Voicing the discrepancy and fraudulence that lay in the current drama being unfolded by the state government that has hitherto kept temple administration and temple wealth in their custody, the eminent social activist sought to know the state government’s motive behind the new set of declarations they have come up with.

“Devaswom accounts have been audited only till the year 2012. It has come to light that temple funds have been given to organizations like SIDCO. There is glaring discrepancy in the amount of 75 lakhs allotted for drinking water project initiated by Guruvayur Devaswom Board. Pamba Action Plan has been stalled because the state government refused to hand over to central government, the table of expenditure. The government is party to Aranmula airport project which will be chiefly instrumental in mammoth destruction of Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple. The electricity board has rendered massive loot in Sabarimala by charging rupees 10 to 15 per unit. The Devaswom Board minister, who is proclaiming that crores have been spent for common roads leading to Sabarimala to be set right, should clarify why he has not implemented even basic necessities for pilgrims bound towards the sacred shrine. None of the basic grievances of waste management, drinking water, food, medical facilities etc stand unaddressed,” said Kummanam adding that the concerned minister should be prepared to issue a public declaration with regard to temple matters or be open for a public debate.

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