The True Facts of Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions & Charitable Endowment Act 2011

Chaitra Shukla Dwadashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5113

From Our Correspondent

Recently Karnataka State Government passed The True Fact Of  Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act 2011 bill. We are totally shocked to go through the amendments to The Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act 1997. At the very outset, we would like to declare that we totally oppose the various amendments to the Act.

Religion is at the core of people’s emotions and feelings and it has got great sentimental value. All Hindus feel deeply hurt when their religious feelings or emotions, values or sentiments are unnecessarily interfered with by any law or act. Hinduism is a way of life. Hindus are following their religious activities voluntarily without any compulsion, because of their innate love and respect for their religion. In fact, since the last 10 years, all Hindu Temples and other place of worship are being improved or developed by way of “Jeernodhara” of the place. We are seeing the Jeernodhara of many Hindu religious places, and the public is continuing to contribute generously to this cause by way of donations. No Hindu is FOR any change related to these places of worship as this will lead to unnecessary politics.

Religion cannot be politicized. It is really surprising how politicians are trying to interfere in all religious matters related to Hindus without doing anything for the development of Hindu religion. They want complete control over each and every activity connected with Hindu Religious places We, the Hindus have tolerated this type of interference since many years and now we have decided that it is high time we stopped being tolerant. We have decided to fight against such interference by any political leaders or any law in matters related to our religion.

Before we even venture to describe the various repercussions of such an Amendment Act, we would like to state that the present day politicians seem to have neither applied their mind in drafting the amendments, nor gone through the various provisions of the Amendment Act in detail. Nowadays, politicians have become just followers of certain leaders and they are prepared to stoop to any level and any extent to support their leaders. We state with pain that no one is bothered about the society or the general public and its well being. The politicians have totally forgotten the promises that they have given to the people before they got elected. They have stopped thinking about the good of the people who elected them. This is evident from the fact that they continue to pass such cruel legistlation.

In the event that the proposed amendment is allowed, all our religious activities will come under the absolute control of Parishad and the Government. The politicians will have total power and indisputable control over the funds, employments, activities, administration, renovations, donations and each and every major as well as minor issue related to temples.

We are totally disgusted with the approach of the politicians. We openly state that the present political leaders have neither any concerns for the feelings of the public nor any attachment to its welfare. In other words, they are simply not bothered about the general public. They do not respect and value the sentiments of the Hindus. Despite repeated requests by the public through various channels, they have not bothered to even object to the amendments to the Act when the same were presented in the Vidhana Sabha.

If this Act is amended as has been proposed, every religious activity will be politicized; and no well meaning members of the public will have any rights or interest in the management of temple or religious place. Every thing will be under the absolute control of the Government i.e. to say the funds, renovation works, donations, employment of Archakas, employment of any persons to the Temple, except in so far as the Mutts. If we study the entire amendment carefully, it becomes clear that this proposed amendment is proposed just to ensure that the Hindus lose their interest in the Temple or in the religious places. If these proposed amendments are allowed to be passed, all our Temples or religious places will become like Government offices.  This religious Parishad is formed and controlled by the Government. The Act makes it very clear that, it is applicable to Temples, Dattis, Vrindavans, Samadhis, Peethas, Padukaas, Basadi, Buddha Vihars, Gurudhwaras and any institution of religious purpose. All the funds received or collected from these religious institutions shall be used for creation of a common pool fund.

These funds shall be utilized by the religious Parishad and the Government shall have the powers to transfer these amounts for any other purposes as it may deem fit. The said funds will undoubtedly be transferred at the whims and fancies of the Government.

The respective religious Parishad shall have complete control over all the religious places. This religious Parishad shall have the right not only in respect of appointment or dismissal of Archakas, but also other staff of the religious places.

The qualifications required for the person who can become an Archaka are defined in the said proposed amendment Act. All these are under the control of the Government.

The State Religious Parishad shall be headed by Endowment Ministers.

The said State Religious Parishad shall have the absolute right to decide all questions including the following questions:
1. The customs being practiced in the temple.
2. Whether any given Temple is a public temple or a private Temple.
3. Whether any given institution is religious or not.
4. Whether any post is inheritable or not inheritable

Apart from this, the Parishad shall have the right to appoint a committee, if the income of the said religious place is more than rupees ten lakhs per year and a Commissioner, if the income of the said religious place is more than rupees two lakhs per year.

These appointments shall be political appointments and these appointed persons shall act as per the wish of the politicians and they are totally controlled by the Government. We believe that in brief, the religious institution will be converted into a present-day Government office.

The District Religious Parishad shall have the powers to appoint a committee, if the income from the said religious institution is more than rupees one lakh. All the members of district Parishad shall be under the control of the Government in other words the Government shall have the powers even on the District level religious institutions. Therefore they will be under the mercy of the Government and will have to act in accordance with the directions given by the political leaders.

Section 31 of the proposed Amendment Act provides that every temple shall prepare a scheme. Every temple or religious place shall give all the particulars of its immovable and movable property, gold and silver items and other valuable items, to be furnished within 6 months from the date of amendment. All the transactions of the land and movables including sale, lease, and gift shall be under the control of the said Parishad. Even for the filing of any case and appointment of an advocate, the Parishad’s permission will be required. All the temples shall be registered immediately within the prescribed period, after the amendment. Any individual shall not have the right to collect any donation without the permission of the Parishad. Every temple shall prepare a budget for the development of the temple, which will be prepared by the Parishad in consultation with the authorities such as Vasthushilpi etc. as appointed under the Act.

It appears that the amendment in totality clearly shows that the Government does not want to improve the present temples and other Hindu religious institutions. The motive behind it is to gain full control over the Temple and to induct persons who are affiliated to the Political parties governing the State. This will definitely promote corrupt practices in the Hindu Religious Institutions.

Therefore, as a last resort we request all Hindus to render justice and please ensure that this Act is not implemented.

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