In news just in, the Uttarakhand government has announced that it will be freeing 51 temples from govt control.
In July 2020, the Char Dham temples of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath along with 51 other Hindu temples were brought under govt control and management by the Trivendra Singh Rawat led Uttarakhand govt.
That action was opposed by Hindu devotees in Uttarakhand and the rest of the country. The newly passed Act was challenged back then by various parties including Dr. Subramanian Swamy in Uttarakhand High Court. The HC upheld the validity of the Act. It said that right to manage own religious affairs is given under Constitution Article 26 only to a “religious denomination” and contended that Hindus professing Hindu/Sanatana Dharma cannot be called a religious denomination!
HinduPost had opposed the decision to takeover temples, and today welcomes the course correction announced today by new CM Tirath Singh Rawat.
Various groups like Temple Worshippers Society, People For Dharma, Indic Collective and others have been fighting for freeing Hindu temples for many years now, calling out the hypocrisy of the Indian secular state which grants full rights to minority religious communities to manage their own religious institutions but denies the same to ‘majority’ Hindus. Gradually, this has now become an election issue, and BJP has promised to free/grant autonomy to temples before Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu elections.
However, doubts have lingered about the sincerity of these promises as even BJP-run state governments have shown an inclination to maintain some form of control over temples. The Uttarakhand government’s decision to take over the control of 51 additional temples, instead of freeing the ones already under govt control, came as a body blow to the party’s supporters and exposed the party to charges of double-speak. Hence, the current rollback is a welcome course correction.
In recent times, a conclave of Hindu seers has also spoken on the need to protect Hindu temples and give control of temple management to devotees and committed Hindus. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has also lent his support to the #FreeTemplesInTN movement. VHP President Shri Alok Kumar also tweeted in support of this cause recently –
“Reconstituting temple trust boards with eminent Hindus and men of impeccable character would be a good start. Leaving the temples in the care of the bureaucracy and politicians hasn’t helped. These words are equally relevant to the State of Tamil Nadu"-Madras HC on 22.09.2020
— Alok Kumar Sr. Advocate (@AlokKumarLIVE) April 8, 2021
The battle is far from over. Every practicing Hindu has to keep up the pressure on our politicians, governments and judiciary to ensure that a robust framework is developed to hand over control of temples across the country to devotees and committed Hindus from all walks of life.
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