Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 21 March 2023 6.35 AM IST

High-time temples should go back to Hindus


It is a stated norm for people to pay taxes to help their country remain a livable haven. Citzens' money will be passed on to development projects in the country. The people give their share to see their country thrive economically. But in another scenario, just take the example of temples, especially in gods own country. People flood to these divine spots for blessings and to enter a spiritual aura. While on these divine goings, people usually contribute to the money box fitted near the shrine. The money contributed is pure to the lord they worship for. But what happening in the state is an anomaly, and still, with a knowing nod from the government, the practice continues.

Before Independence, the royal family in Kerala used to helm matters associated with Hindu temples. Later after the British intrusion and the following renaissance, rules were made for the government to head matters associated with Hindu temples. And so, the temples fell under the Devasom Board — a sub-branch of the government. But, what elicits surprise is, the government cranes their neck into matters of only Hindu temples. For other religions, take a church, the money contributed goes to the development of the church or any other need according to the devotees. If they want to embellish and rebuild the church, the devotees never need to kowtow before the government for funds, because they have their coffers filled. But for Hindu temples, without the assent of the board, not even a single penny moves.

For eons, the devotees are beseeching the governments to give their temples to them. Repeated governments in power have ridiculed the request with facetious retorts. Now, the supreme court has asked the officials this question but the government deliberately keeps its ears shut. The case of Ahobilam temple in Andhra Pradesh courted controversy after justice SK Kaul led bench asked the government to give the keys of power to the devotees than simply engaging in the "loot".

The present scenario in Kerala is at its ludicrous best. A gargantuan share of devotees' money in the temple goes to government-initiated projects. When asked for temple development and staff payments, the government brings in the majority card among the public to trigger unrest within communities. The drama has been running in full glare for a long. The central government is sure to take into concern the Ahobilam temple observation from the court. In the coming times, the centre should initiate a new framework of rules to give control of temples back to Hindus. The state should abide, without any unnecessary fuss.

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