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January 02, 2011




Page: 35/38

Home > 2011 Issues > January 02, 2011

Perspective

Hindu Temples -II
Temples should be liberated from political control

By Radha Rajan

The issue is not corruption or maladministration of our temples; the issue is that Hindus have allowed and continue to allow anti-Hindu governments to control temple administration, temple revenue and actively intervene in the religious affairs of Hindu temples, eroding the very sanctity of our temples. Temple affairs are today subjected to the political whims and caprices of Nehruvian secular Indian polity.

Hindus have managed their temples centuries before the HR&CE, TTD, Congress, TDP, DMK or AIADMK were even conceived of. Chaos and instability are poor excuses for looting temple money and plundering temple wealth and property.

THE story of how Adikesavulu Naidu the liquor baron with huge assets in Andhra and Karnataka was presented the Chairman TTD Board Golden Goose Award first in 2003 and again in 2008 is even more enthralling. Adikesavulu Naidu was Treasurer, AICC when PV Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister. Quitting the Congress Party like rats abandoning a sinking ship, Adikesavulu Naidu joined the politically ascendant Telugu Desam Party; gratified that the phenomenally rich and powerful liquor baron who also owned sugar factories in Andhra Pradesh chose to throw away the Congress Party in favour of the TDP, party president Chandrababu Naidu presented Adikesavulu Naidu the Chairman TTD Board Golden Goose Award for the first time in 2003. From one Naidu to another Naidu in 2003, from one Reddy to another Reddy in 2006, from one Reddy to another Naidu, both Madam’s men in 2008, the stench of corruption and vice from within the TTD resembled the Augean Stables in 2010.

In 2004, after completing his first tenure as Chairman TTD Board, Adikesavulu Naidu contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 as TDP candidate from Chitoor. In 2008, when the UPA faced its first real crisis in Parliament over the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, Adikesavulu Naidu once again played rat-in-a-sinking-ship, turned back on the party which elected him MP to the Lok Sabha, violated party whip and voted for the UPA in favour of the Nuclear Deal. Notwithstanding the fact that his vote was invalidated by the Speaker, Sonia Gandhi and Samuel Reddy, as wages for betrayal, bestowed upon Adikesavulu Naidu the TTD Chairman Golden Goose Award for the second time in 2008.

The TTD had thus become a prestigious parking place for unworthy, undeserving moneybag and even scumbag sycophants of the state’s ruling political class. With Sonia’s Congress as the ruling party in the state and in Delhi, the defiling of Tirupati had fallen to new depths. The V&E department recommended filing criminal and civil cases against three members of the TTD Board, eight superintendents, fifteen senior assistants, five junior assistants, twelve attendants and two other persons employed as personal assistants of members of the TTD Board.

The V&E probing the multi-crore Srivari Arjitha Seva Ticket scam, charged the TTD Board and administration of colluding with hoteliers and travel agents in a network of deep and well-entrenched racket where seva and darshan tickets were sold to the management of these hotels and travel agencies for a higher price which in turn sold them to bhaktas for an even higher price. There was also talk of missing jewellery from the TTD coffers. The V&E found former Chairman TTD Board and Congress MP Subbarami Reddy guilty of having booked in 2008 seva tickets worth several lakhs of rupees in the name of several members of his family until the year 2060!

Expressing deep sorrow at the unfortunate state of affairs within the TTD Board, Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswati speaking at the dharma sadas on November 29, in Chennai observed that it was extremely unfortunate that the Specified Authority had cancelled the dharmacharya sadassu in Tirumala. Dharmacharyas have historically and for centuries gathered at such dharma sadas in different temple towns and teerthakshetras to deliberate upon issues pertaining to Hindu dharma and dharmi. Administrative bodies like the TTD must not interfere in the religious affairs of temples, Swamiji added.

Pujya Kanchi Acharya while deploring the decision of the Specified Authority to cancel the dharmacharya sadassu, referred to the general and pervasive maladministration of Hindu temples. Pujya Kanchi Acharya called upon Hindus to find ways to ensure that the revenue earned by our temples was used only to serve Hindu dharmic interests - upkeep and maintenance of small temples, maintenance of ancient temples located deep in the hearts of our villages, for gau samrakshana and for dharma pravachan. All sanyasis, acharyas and mathathipathis at the dharma sadas agreed that religious conversion powered by foreign money to Abrahamic faiths constituted the biggest threat to Hindu dharma.

Concluding the day-long dharma sadas with a resolution condemning the TTD for canceling the dharmacharya sadassu for the third time, it was decided that the resolution would be sent to the Specified Authority TTD, to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and to the Prime Minister in Delhi.

The Acharyas present have noted with distress the development in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam in canceling the Dharma Prachara Sadassu, scheduled to be conducted on the November 29 and 30, 2010.

It is obvious that the secular government has once again interfered with this Hindu religious body committed to sanatana dharma and Hindu dharma pracharam. Also the act of cancellation of dharmacharya sadassu is tantamount to interfering in the spiritual and religious functioning of Hindus as also the functioning of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam.

This conference expresses its displeasure at the casual manner of dealing with Hindu religious leaders and advises the government not to exert political pressure on Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam or on any Hindu religious body carrying out its dharmic responsibilities and urges the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam to convene the Dharmacharya Sadassu every year without fail. (Excerpts from the resolution passed by Hindu Dharmacharyas at Chennai on November 29, 2010)

Passing resolutions and sending them to the government, online petitions and angry or distressed letters to government officials about the state of Hindu temples, about the barely concealed disrespect for Hindu sensibilities demonstrated routinely by officials in government and administration, are but impotent expressions of a weak people. This was the path along which Dadabhai Naoroji, Surendranath Banerjea and Gopalkrishna Gokhale led the Indian National Congress; Gandhi modified this effete approach to dealing with the colonial government by making his brand of satyagraha the only instrument with which to deal with the British; by and by Hindus had allowed their martial limbs to atrophy with disuse and today Hindus cannot think beyond sitting passively the whole day lamenting their fate, and passing resolutions of condemnation.

The issue is not corruption or maladministration of our temples; the issue is that Hindus have allowed and continue to allow anti-Hindu governments to control temple administration, temple revenue and actively intervene in the religious affairs of Hindu temples, eroding the very sanctity of our temples. Temple affairs are today subjected to the political whims and caprices of Nehruvian secular Indian polity. This cannot be ended by resolutions drafted by Hindu bhaktas or Hindu dharmacharyas. This can be ended the day Hindu dharmacharyas collectively threaten to launch sustained and intense mass protests calling upon governments to surrender their control of Hindu temples.

Arguments about which body will administer the temples, resulting chaos and instability do not hold water because these were the same arguments that the British government used when asked to quit India. Hindus have managed their temples centuries before the HR&CE, TTD, Congress, TDP, DMK or AIADMK were even conceived of. Chaos and instability are poor excuses for looting temple money and plundering temple wealth and property.

Hindus must emerge from their cocoon of self-interest and cowardice to see how the Abrahamic religions twist hardened Indian politicians around their fingers, tie them up in knots and lead them down the garden path of de-Hinduising the nation with a ring around their nose. Hindus and Hindus alone can end this terrible state of affairs in our temples and this can be ended only forcefully.
(To be concluded)




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