[GHHF] Mahankali Temple lands auction postponed in AP; Endowment Minister’s help appreciated
Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future. Albert Camus, French novelist and essayist.
If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place. Margaret Mead; Anthropologist
Hindu Temples are the symbols of tolerance, diversity, multiplicity, pluralism, inclusiveness, freedom, mutual respect and ahimsa. For centuries the Hindu Temples are the centers of performing arts, music, dances, discourses, spirituality, religious diversity, worship services, Vedic education and yoga classes. In fact many Hindu Temples conduct multitude of variety of religious festivals like Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Ganapati Mahotsav, Maha Shivaratri, Ram Navami and other Hindu festivals, without restraining themselves to any particular sect or sampradaya. The images in these Temples are as diverse as human existence itself. A strong belief is ingrained in Hindu mind that the all-powerful and all knowing God can manifest any form, any shape and any image to fit the needs of the needs of the devotees. It is hard for any Hindu to imagine that God cannot manifest himself in the multiplicity of forms. With so many forms and shapes, Hindus have the mentality toward diversity, universality, inclusiveness, and mutual respect, freedom and tolerance. Human potential to visualize the Almighty is not constrained by closed minds and exclusive philosophy. The principles, ethics, morals and etiquette of Hindu religion welcomed other religions, allowed them to practice their religion and tolerated their exclusivity.
This strong tradition of freedom and tolerance of religious diversity is being taken advantage by other religions, atheists, Marxists, Media, Hindu traitors, as well as the government. Furthermore, Hindus in general have forgotten the meaning of freedom and their responsibility to preserve their freedom in order to protect their religion and their temples. Indifference, apathy, neglect, mismanagement, and negligence among Hindus have contributed to the take over of the Temples. Embracing of universal philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence) is making them even more defenseless.
If the Hindus wish to be the champions of theirrich culture where the human potential is allowed to flourish, the peaceful coexistence is tolerated, the freedom is accepted as universal birthright, and the divine is manifested in infinite images, then the Hindus have to exercise their fundamental right to manage their own Temples and take immense pride in protecting their culture.They should not shirk their responsibility in demanding the repeal of Endowment Act to release the Hindu Temples to the Hindus.
Uppuguda Mahankali Temple in Hyderabad
It is believed that the Mahankali Temple was established in 1869 following massive plague epidemic that killed thousands of people. In order to pacify the anger of Mahankali, people initiated Bonalu (meaning Bhojanalu – meals) festival whereby women offered food in clay pots decorated with different colors, neem leaves and diya on top of the pot. That tradition of offering Bonalu is still continuing every year. The women carry these pots on their head from their homes to the Temple. In 2011, the Mahankali Bonala Jathara was conducted in Ashada Masa for eleven days – from July 15 thru 25.
In the year 1949 The Uppuguda Mahankali Temple was renovated by installing the image of Matha. The population of this village increased to more than 150,000 in numbers consisting of different colonies – Shivajinagar, Tanajinagar, Naraharinagar, Shivajinagar, Lalithbagh, Bhayalalnagar and Arundhati. The Bonal Jathra attracts thousands of people every day not only from these colonies but also from different parts of the state and other states.
Sri Mahankali Temple lands - Endowments Department planned Auction
Mahankali Temple used to have nearly 100 acres of land. At present, there are only 7.23 acres of lands are accounted for. No body is able to find out what happened to the rest of 92.77 acres. The Endowments Department has been planning to auction even the remaining land for a number of years. In 2003 the auction of this land failed. The third week of November, the Endowment Department planned the auction. The newspapers report that the value of the land would be around 50 crores. The people who are planning bid the land were offering about 6 crores.
On December 2, 2011 the Endowment Department postponed the auction of land may be for next three months.
GHHF Contacted and appreciated Sri Ponnala Lakshmaiah Garu
Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi President Sri Kamal Kumar Swami went and met local people and some of the Board members of Mahankali Temple. Then he called Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) whose mission is to preserve the Hindu Temples, their resources and lands. Then we contacted Sri Ponnnala Lakshmaiah Garu.
Following is the communication between GHHF and Sri Ponnala Lakshmaiah Garu. Please read about our concerns, the possible impact of depleting Temples and how this land can be used to promote Hindu way of life.
We want to express our appreciation for Sri Ponnala Lakhmaiah Garu who may have caused the postponement of the auction. We earnestly request him to revoke any plans the government may have to auction the land.
Email sent to Sri Ponnala Lakshmaiah Garu
November 29, 2011
TO: Sri Ponnala Lakshmaiah
Minister for Endowments Department, Hyderabad, AP
Dear Honorable Ponnala Lakshmaiah Garu:
Sub: Requesting to stop the sale of Mahankali Temple lands.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) wants to bring to your kind attention to the pending auction of 7.23 acres of land belonging to Uppuguda Mahankali Temple in Old City. According to reports from the newspapers and the local people we talked to, it appears that local politicians entered the picture forcing the Endowments Department to conduct this auction. They want to acquire it at the lowest possible rate – way below the market rate. In 2003, there was a plan to auction the Temple land, which was not materialized. Again auction of the land was initiated about two weeks ago. Since the people who came to bid in the auction were offering below market value, the Endowments Department itself postponed it. Again the Department is planning to conduct another auction of the Temple in the first week of December.
Reasons for our Request
Hence, we humbly request your good offices to intervene and scrap the plans to sell the land. Our reasons are as follows:
1) First of all, Hindus are not informed as to why the Temple lands should be sold. We feel sad that the government consults none of the Hindu spiritual leaders before any decision is made with respect to these Temples. Government is operating these Temples as if they are it’s their property rather the property of Hindus. Our position is that Temple lands should be not be sold.
2) We also request you to investigate as to what happened to100 acres of land that belonged to the Mahankali Temple - whether it was sold, whether it was encroached, whether the government acquired the land, who sold it, and what were the reasons to sell the lands.
What would be Departmental policy to recover the land that was either encroached or taken over illegally?
3) With the enactment of Endowment Act, thousands of Hindu Temples were acquired by the AP government with the intention of preserving, managing, and protecting these Temples, lands and resources. Unfortunately, the lands are being depleted for various reasons, resources are misused and diverted, and management is indifferent to the needs of Hindus.
4) Our ancestors, Kings and the Philanthropists build these Temples to meet the religious and spiritual needs of the Hindus. With so much foresight, they have donated hundreds and thousands of acres of lands so that money generated from these donated lands can be used for the proper maintenance and management of these Temples.
What makes the government to think that they can dispose of the Temple lands neglecting the wishes and generosity of our ancestors?
5) Government should protect the Temple lands and resources, instead of depleting. Government has all the power in its hand to protect these national treasures. It should use it to protect them rather than allowing people to encroach them and allowing the government to abuse its authority.
6) Many local Hindus believe that it should not be sold because this land is serving as a buffer between the Temple and the Muslim community. They also believe that if this land is sold it will become a Muslim neighborhood resulting in communal disharmony, tensions, and possible violence.
There will be total imbalance in the neighborhood where the Temple is located.
How the land should be used
Many local Hindus believe that this land should be used for the following activities to promote the Hindu identity and serve the needs of the Hindus. The 7.23 are land can be used for:
a) Hindu maidan where Hindu can use the land for congregation of Hindus for discourses, meetings, concerts etc
b) Kalyanamantapam – Hindus can use this facility for the marriages, festivals and other religious purposes.
c) Flower Garden – Flowers can be grown to meet the needs of Presiding Deities in the Temple and also generate money by selling in the market.
d) Goshala (Cow shed) – Gowmatas should be protected from slaughter by other ethnic communities. They are the sacred symbols of all the Deities and for all Hindus.
e) Veda Patashalas – where the Priests can be trained with guaranteed employment.
f) Educational Institutions – at different levels from Kinder garden to Junior colleges where Hindu ethics are imparted.
g) Sports Centers where the need for physical and mental balance is imparted.
Conclusion and Request
In summary, we request your kind consideration to stop the auction of this land.
Also we request you to work with government to issue GO prohibiting the sale of any Temple lands.
We also appreciate your response at your earliest.
V. V. PrakasaRao, PhD
Reply from Honorable Minister Sri Ponnala Lakshmaniah
November 30, 2011
Thank you for your concern and issues raised and suggestions mentioned. This govt. Is equally concerned. That is why we have taken many new and first time initiatives to safeguard, protect
Our temples. In the particular case mentioned I will get the report and do the needful.
With regards and good wishes
Appreciation to Sri Ponnala Lakshmaiah Garu
November 30, 2011
Dear Honorable Lakshmaiah Garu:
Namaste. Thank you so much for your prompt response. Based o what I hear from M V L Prasad Garu and others that you are different, efficient and concerned with the preservation and protection of our religion.
Our main objective is to see that no Hindu Temples are sold so that we will have enough room not only to expand but also use the land for religious purposes.
May Lord Venkateswara shower His choicest Blessing on you and your efforts to preserve the endowed lands.
With respects and regards
V. V. PrakasaRao PhD, President of GHHF
Appeal to all Hindus
Now the Hindu should get united with a firm resolve to free Hindu Temples from the government. It is due to our differences and partisanship; we have handed over our Hindu Temples in a silver platter to the government. It is time for Hindus to express their views openly, meet with politicians, question the propriety of taking over the Temples, engage in peaceful protests, and take necessary steps take the Hindu Temples back into their hands.
Christians and Muslims are enjoying the freedom of managing their churches and mosques respectively. The government would not even touch their Mosques, their properties and resources. In fact the government subsidizes the Hajj pilgrimage to the Muslims, subsidized Jerusalem and Vatican trips to the Christian, pays for the renovation of the mosques, gives many incentives to these religious followers by imposing surcharges on Hindus during the festival times and taking a certain percentage of Hindu Temples income.
Please remember the words of Swami Vivekananda: It (Hinduism) never demands any undue restraint upon the freedom of human reason, the freedom of thought, feeling and will of man. Hinduism is a religion of freedom, allowing the widest margin of freedom in matters of faith and worship. It allows absolute freedom of human reason and heart with regard to such questions as to the nature of God, soul, form of worship, creation, and the goal of life. It does not force anybody to accept particular dogmas or forms of worship. It allows everybody to reflect, investigate, enquire and cogitate.”
Failure to exercise the freedom in demanding the repeal of the Endowment Act and be ready to manage their Hindu Temples may lead to the loss of the most precious gift the Hindus have espoused for millenniums – FREEDOM.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation.
Our mission is to preserve, practice, propagate and protect our heritage and abolish Endowment Act and free Temples from the government control. If we have to make an impact on our movement to bring changes to preserve our culture, we need you financial support. Your generous donations to continue our efforts to free Hindu Temples from government control, awaken the Hindus about the plight of Hindu Temples and the impending danger of illegal conversion techniques are essential. We are requesting all the individuals and organizations to support financially to continue our movement to free Hindu Temples from the government control and stop these conversions.
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