Misuse of temple funds and power

How will this impact?

  1. Government may take control of trusts. (4,50,000 temples)
  2. All the mosques, Durgahs and Madarassas registered with the Wakf Board are excluded.
  3. The state will decide how trust money will be spent.
  4. The trusts now contribute 2 per cent of their gross income to run the Charity Commissioner’s Office. If the new law is passed, that may go up to 8 per cent.
  5. There should be three trustees per trust. One will be appointed by the government.
  6. All income should be in a common fund, there should be no lifetime trustees, each trustee should be liable (not just the trust) and donations must be approved by the charity commissioner.

Source: Temple trusts prepare for battle royale Hindustan Times, Mumbai Edition (28 Sept 06, Page 6)

False Reasoning by Government

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh ordered the drafting of a new law after a stampede killed 267 people at Mandradevi Temple in Satara in January 2005. The Maharashtra Temples or Religious Institutions (Management and Regulation) Bill will come soon in the cabinet. The Government has put forth the reason that planning and utilization of temple funds is not done properly and therefore, the above Law is proposed.

True reasons for proposing this law –

  1. Government has become bankrupt and it is willing to utilize money offered by devotees to conceal its failure.
  2. Government is taking over only wealthy temple trusts and ignoring the trusts which actually need the finicial support.
  3. Congress and maxist governments have misused the temple funds in various states including Maharashtra.

 

1. Siddhivinayak scam

On the contrary to this new law, it is a known fact that there are malpractices and mismanagement of funds belonging to Siddhivinayak Temple Trust which is under the control of the Government. The said Trust managed by the Government is giving donations of crores of rupees, holding meetings in seven star hotels thus playing with the feelings of devotees and wasting money donated by devotees. For the last 26 weeks (as of 10-Oct-06), on every Tuesday HJS is holding demonstrations in front of the temple against the said malpractices.

Read more about Siddhivinayak Scam

2. Temple funds utilized for Haj and Madarsssas

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 ( Figures in Crores.)

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.

“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”. – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Art of Living Foundation) from Arsha Vidya Newsletter of Dec 2003).

Ref: http://www.esamskriti.com/

3. Evangelism in Tirupati (Tirumala)

Read more….

4. Maxists takeover the temples in Kerala: Churches, Mosques excluded

The Marxist government in Kerala has dismantled the Hindu Devasom Boards and introduced new law for the complete take over of Hindu Temples in Kerala. Under the new law, Marxist government can appoint atheist, non practicing Hindus as temple managers and administrators. Government will have the ultimate control of managing temple workers, temple funds and distribution of funds. The goals are to loot Hindu temple funds and confiscate temple property. The new law will also helps Marxists to destroy Hindu culture, demoralize devotees and please their Muslim and Christian political partners.

Read more…

5. A Report on The Plight of Hindu Temples in Bharat

Andhra Pradesh:

  • AP State Government maintains 70,000 Employees State Endowment board supported with 15-18% of income from every Hindu temple in the state. Below are abuses under its Evangelical Christian Chief Minister YSR.
  • In 2006, Government attempted to take over 5 out of 7 Tirumala Hills of 650 year old Tirumala Temple for Church and Tourism Purposes.
  • In March 2006, government demolished the 1000 pillar Mantapam at Tirumala.
  • YSR’s son blew up a temple. Recently 10 temples were demolished for a golf course.
  • The charge that 85% percent of revenues from TTD be transferred to state exchequer was not denied by the state government.
  • JRG Wealth Management Limited, a Christian organization, was given the contract to procure”Prasadam” materials for TTD.
  • TTD has to contribute 22 million Rupees annually to a common good fund.
  • Of the 420,028 acres owned by Temples in Vishakhapatnam, Kakinada, Guntur, Kurnool, Warangal and Hyderabad, 60,843 acres were allowed to be occupied illegally while 2,349 acres are in litigation. With a staff of over 70,000 in the Endowment Department, there seems to be a lack of initiative to take real steps to prevent illegal occupation.
  • On November 23, 2005, the government decided to take complete control of Hindu mutts such as Hathiramji of Tirupati, Raghavendra Swamy mutt in Mantralayam, billions of rupees.
  • In August 2005, government decided to sell 100,000 acres of Sri Narasimha Swamy Temple in Simhachalam and other nearby Temples.
  • On March 14, 2006, government auctioned 3,000 acres of Temple lands in East Godavari District.
  • Govt. added a 50% surcharge on Maha Shivaratri day to make it difficult for poor Hindu devotees to visit temples.
  • Govt. allocates 11 million Rupees to Churches for their repairs and renovations.
  • Govt. allocates 65 million Rupees to Mosques for their repairs and renovations.
  • Per 8/22/2006 GO 21, Govt. allocated Rs. 80,000 for each church for it’s repairs and renovations and 15 million Rupees for constructing a new church.
  • On December 18, 2006, the state government announced that it is considering giving subsidy for Christians to travel to Bethlehem.

Karnataka:

  • Most of the money received from temples is diverted to Muslims and Christians. e.g., in 2003, 790 million Rupees were generated from about 200,000 temples. From that, Temples received only 71 million Rupees while madarsas and hajj subsidy received.591.5 million Rupees and Churches received 127.5 million Rupees.
  • Diversion of Temple money to other religious organizations could cause as many as 50,000 of the 260,000 temples in Karnataka to close down within five years.
  • Many ancient temples are in extremely poor condition, and their managements and priests carp about inadequate funds. Even salaries are not disbursed regularly, and priests are forced to survive on donations made by devotees in the Aarti plate.
  • All the hereditary Temples and Mutts have to contribute 5% of their revenues to the Government.
  • In November 2006, the state government announced a grant of 30 million Rupees for the construction of a Hajj House (for Muslims).

Tamil Nadu:

Sri Shankaracharya was arrested on false charges, installed the statues of anti Hindu Periyar in front of Sri Rangapatnam Temple against the will of Hindus and High Court, and illegally encroached on the Temple lands.

Kerala:

  • Guruvayur Temple money was diverted to other governmental projects denying the improvements for 45 Hindu Temples.
  • Church-backed encroachers occupied “huge areas of forest land, running into more than a million acres near Sabarimala while the government denied the permission to use few acres to provide amenities to Ayyappa devotees.
  • Diluted the rituals at Sabarimala and levied taxes on the income of the Temples.
  • Grabbed the forest land of Ayyappa Temple.
  • No state government since independence had ever dared to take over one single church or mosque or just one Rupee of their income or an inch of their vast land holdings. As a result, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) is formed to protect, preserve, promote, and maintain Hindu culture, Hindu temples, mutts, peethams, endowments, Trusts and other institutions globally. To achieve this objective, GHHF will take the necessary and appropriate actions against all laws, policies, and activities undertaken by any government, which undermine the existence of the Temples. The ultimate goal is to ensure all the Hindu Temples and other Hindu institutions become independent of state government control. GHHF is currently taking steps to challenge the Endowment Act in the High Court and Supreme Court. To this end, GHHF established an organization in the name of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti in Hyderabad on December 8, 2006.

Courtesy: V. V. Prakasa Rao, 601-856-4783 H/ 601-918-7111; Prasad Yalamanchi 630-832-2665; Vinay Boppana 248-842-6964; Satyanarayan Dosapati 732-939-2060. E-mail: [email protected].