‘Liberate temples from Endowments Department’
source: The Hindu, December 27, 2007
It has no track record of reviving temples, alleges Hindu Temples Protection Committee
‘Many temples got degenerated after they were brought under the Government control’
Out of 34,500 temples, the State has decided to ensure formal rituals in 2,000 temples only
KURNOOL: General Secretary of Hindu Temples Protection Committee M. Kamala Kumar called for ‘liberation’ of temples from the Endowments Department.
Mr. Kumar, who launched a padayatra 100 days ago on September 16 at Basara in Adilabad district, reached Mantralayam in Kurnool district on Wednesday and addressed a convention on temples’ protection.
He covered 2,267 kms. and visited 1,500 temples. He said the Endowments Department has no track record of reviving temples. Most of the temples got degenerated after they were brought under the Government control through Endowments Act, he alleged.
He said out of the 34,500 temples in the State, the government has decided this year to ensure formal rituals in 2,000 temples only. He said the Hindu society is also equally responsible as its members the lost habit of visiting temples. In the absence of supervision of devotees, bureaucratisation entered the temples, he said.
He said the Endowments system failed to protect temple lands and ensure proper income from the properties. On the other hand, the department had miserably failed even to properly auction the land and deposit the amount as the influential hijack the auction process and secure lands at throw away prices, he alleged.
Mr. Kumar said the government provides ‘asylum’ to politicians on the temple committees who were more interested in politics than in the development of the temples. The life of priests becomes miserable in the absence of reasonable income, he said. A movement would be launched against sale of temple lands, as it does not serve any purpose, except helping the vested interests, he said. He said the organisation will fight for notifying all temple lands and display of survey numbers of such lands at every panchayat office, advising the people not to buy them. Also, the revenue and registration officials should be directed not to effect transfer of the temple lands, he opined.
The padayatra will culminate into a devotional congregation at Tirupati on January 25. Next year, a similar padayatra would be launched through coastal Andhra districts.
Chief priest of Ahobilam temple, Kidambi Venugopalachar, priest of Mantralayam temple, Parimalachar, Chandrasekhara Kalkura and others were present.