Uttarakhand Govt rolls back the Char Dham Devasthanam Board Management law

Priests and Hindu activists had protested against Uttarakhand government’s takeover of temples

The Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, declared on Tuesday (30 November) that the BJP govt in the state has decided to repeal the earlier Trivendra Singh Rawat govt’s Char Dham Devasthanam Board Management Act, freeing 51 temples from the state government’s control.

The decision was taken after a high-level committee appointed by the Dhami government to investigate the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, 2019 gave its final report to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday, November 28 here in Rishikesh.

It may be noted that former chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat had also said shortly after assuming office that the temples would no longer be under the supervision of the board. However, before he could keep his commitment, he had to step down.

About the Char Dham Devasthanam board

The Uttarakhand government authorised a new bill in 2019 that constituted the Char Dham Devasthanam Board after repealing the Uttarakhand Char Dham Shrine Management Bill. The bill aimed to bring the Char Dham pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri, as well as 49 other temples, under the jurisdiction of a proposed shrine board.

The Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, 2019, was passed by the Assembly and became the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, 2019.

Uttarakhand Char Dhaam Devasthanam Board was formed in January 2020 to manage temples in the state. In June 2020, the Uttrakhand High Court dismissed the PIL filed by Subramanian Swamy against the formation of the board as it allowed the government to take over control of Char Dham and 51 other shrines. The court said that the board will only handle the administration and management of the properties.

Priests and Hindu activists protest against Uttarakhand government’s decision

However, Hindu activists and the priests of the Chardham — Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri — have been since then, objecting to the board’s formation, seeing it as an infringement on their rights, and have been calling for its abolition.

The priests alleged that they were kept in dark about the law. They also alleged that the step is taken to sideline them and take full control over the temple related issues.

Meanwhile, the Hindu activists have also opposed the move of the Uttarakhand government saying that this is an attempt by the government to take over temples while Hindus have been fighting to free temples from government control.

Source : OpIndia

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