February 19, 2020
Coimbatore : Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday demanded that the Tamil Nadu government should amend the Section 96 of the Hindu Temples and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 to ensure that the earnings of the Temples are used for only Dharmic and Religious Activities of Temples as enough volunteers with reputation, honour and capable people are available in the Hindu Society to administer the Temples y without incurring any cost.
Reacting to the announcement in the Tamil Nadu Budget 2020-21 to enhance the funds earmarked for the maintenance of Churches and Mosques from Rs.100 lakh and Rs.60 lakh respectively to Rs.500.00 lakhs each, VHP North Tamil Nadu President, S Srinivasan said the Parisha dwas not not opposing the Government spending for any religious cause, it has to be looked at how the Hindu Temples are being at one hand neglected and in the other hand is being mismanaged by the Government.
The Government during last year issued a GO that it will allot the Temple lands encroached by the squatters for them to build pucca houses, as if the lands are Government lands, he said and asked whether the Government can take such a stand in giving Patta to the encroached lands of Mosques and Churches.
It may be noted that while Minority Religious institutions are free to have their own administration, the Hindu Religious Institutions are being administered by the Government, he said.
The most atrocious thing about this is that the Institutions so administered has to bear the expenditure made by the Government over staff has to be paid by the Institutions under Sec 96 of the HT and CE Act 1959 and an estimated 80 per cent of contributions of the Temples are being spent on administration, he pointed out.
While the Priest of any temple would be paid Rs.5.000 or less per month the relevant Hindu Temples and Charitable Endowments Staff will be earning not less than Rs.20,000 with number of Privileges, Srinivasan said.
In this situation, the Government is declaring that it has allocated Rs.281.17 Crore towards the Hindu Temples and Charitable Endowments Department while conveniently hiding the fact that it will be recovering Rs.150 Crores from Tamil Nadu Endowments Administration Fund collected from more than 40,000 temples, he said.
The Government must take steps to reduce the expenditure of Hindu Temples and Charitable Endowments administration and use the surplus funds for promoting Hindu Dharma and to publish more literature about temples.
The Government should also consider in setting up Autonomous Board consisting of Religious Heads /Saints and Scholars/ Philanthropist to administer the affairs of the Temples, Srinivasan demanded.