Need for Government Control Over religious and Charitable Endowments in India
Written By: Kanishka Sharma
The “Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board” consisting of a President and two to four Commissioners nominated by the Government to function as a statutory body. “In India, it is seen that religious institutions such as temples are supported by the government while the Mosques and churches are not supported by them. So the government must support them all or they should support none of them and keeping it privately.”
Need to free religious places from government control
“First of all, a temple is a subjective affair. You cannot run a temple with mere employees. You need passion and devotion for it. But right now, temples are under government control, and someone who has no feeling for the temple is managing it, so naturally, they will not keep it well. A temple is not a business but the soul of the community. It can only be managed with tremendous involvement and devotion.”
Devotees can unleash the potential of temples
If they leave temples with the devotees they can manage them in a beautiful and wonderful way. “There are many ways and modules by which a temple can run. For example, the gurdwaras provide free food in the form of langars which help many, feeds many which in time gives food to the needy. In the same way, temples should be provided with a budget a land to run in which they can use most of it. With that, they could do many more things and also in the current pandemic stage or disasters like Earthquake or Tsunami they will be the one who can help in an efficient way.”
And above all the things, they are connected with the community, they can handle such situations in a very effective way by using money efficiently – unlike the government where money is filtered through the system, and only a few drops trickle down most of the time. “The temple is not only about a certain religion, they are about art, history, culture. Especially in Tamil Nadu, the temple tower is the state emblem. Many of our towns in India are called “temple towns” as the temple is the core of that town”.
“Also, the volume of people’s sweat and blood that has been invested in the last few thousand years in these temples is not small. You can run the entire state just on temple tourism. Because the temple is not only about a certain religion. The temple is about art, history, culture.”
It’s good to give devotees a chance to run their religious place but in some cases, many people make bad use out of it. “Those people are corrupt and they use such pure places for money and property for example they charge from every person coming for Darshan /Pray.” Also for the Prasad and the timing they worship they are also being in charge of that.
Exercise Your Democratic rights for Temples
In India, during the time of the election, Every responsible citizen must know and tell what they want and expect from the other parties and the political parties must make their Aim and manifestos according to their needs. “After the elections if they protest without giving any information about their needs previously and makes false comment them it’s irresponsible of them.”
“The community should stand up and say to political parties, “If you do not hand over the temples to us, we are not going to vote for you.” The handover need not be done hastily in one shot. It is a complex process and should be done properly. The important thing is to first show an intent. A commission could be appointed to evolve a process of devolution of our temples back to the community.”
For Example in Tamil Nadu, “announced sums of money for temple restoration and travel allowance for making pilgrimages” Above all, after 75 years of free India, if people do not have the freedom to practice their religion the way they want, this is not the kind of freedom everyone deserves.
From all the above information it is seen that India, must be free from government control or at least give a chance to the devotees to run the religious places and to do some things which they want and in the favor of the people and the government should also support them and then it will prove who can run the religious places Better. But Every coin has two sides, likewise, the devotees can also misuse the power as in India it is very common to earn money on the Name of religious places and many big names come who are involved in this corruption. But the government must give some benefit to the devotees.
Government Control, Religious and Charitable Endowments, Charitable Endowments