Allow freedom for temples by enacting a system of representative council constituted with religiously relevant people with scholastic abilities to oversee, advise & decide. Stop intervention of secular governments & political nominees in religious affairs
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Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji.
Honorable Minister of State for Culture, Dr.Mahesh Sharma ji.
Honorable Minister of Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad ji,
On behalf of millions of devotees from the Global Hindu communities, who considers their temples as means to worship the God - the Almighty, we humbly request your attention to the following to affect the creation of a proper system for the service, maintenance & preservation of Hindu temples, temple assets, temple customs, temple arts, knowledge of Thantra-Mantra-Yantra etc associated with temples, learning, teaching & propagation of Vedas, Upanishads, other scriptures and numerous other tenets of Hindu Cultural life. It is further humbly requested that the Constitutional guidelines and laws may be reviewed if required to effect a constructive change.
1. A new system for Hindu temple service and maintenance has to be developed and implemented at the earliest considering the historical backdrop to ensure no intervention of secular government and politicians in Hindu temple affairs, noting that they are not intervening in Christian Church and Muslim Mosque affairs.
2. This system should ensure that the numerous ancient Hindu temples in India are properly, effectively and meaningfully preserved and utilized for the purposes for which it is intended and not just for purposes of tourism development and commercial benefits. As we all know, the prime purpose of temples are not to promote commercial tourism.
3. At present, the temple assets and its affairs at large, are taken care by the bodies set up by the secular government which are a mixture of government officials and political nominees. It is evident that these personnel are the key decision makers in the affairs of temples about which they are not really conversant enough as it appears.
4. Such government officials are entering into the government service through PSC examinations or such processes. And political nominees get their entry based on their comparative merits in their party and as decided by the party !!
5. It is anyone’s guess that a governing body of temple affairs, constituted through such a secular process will not really stand the test of merit and competency when it is compared to a panel of subject experts in the area of temple affairs, spiritual practices, Thantra etc that are part & parcel of Hindu religious life.
6. As an obvious result, temples have become centers of commercial activity and many consider temples as mere establishments for employment. In many temples it is observed that the Priests eyes on devotees who pay higher amount as ‘dakshina’. In many temples, the temple employees behave in rude manner as if the devotes committed a great mistake of visiting the temple. Recently, in Guruvayur temple, a devotee was beaten up by a temple employee. Many might have had several of such experiences of inadequacy to cite upon. All this happens or it shows that the people who are engaged for the temple services are not really capable to execute the work they are entrusted with. The administrative bodies are clueless about how to recruit the right people for the right job, how to train them, how to retain them, the importance of means & ways of setting right attitude in the temple staff as well as visiting devotees. All these happens while a large number of scholars and such people knowledgeable in such matters relating to Hindu culture, rituals, Vedas, Upanishads, Thantra etc are not given any opportunity to contribute their wisdom for the well being of the Hindu society that they hail from.
7. In many temples, crores of rupees are received as offerings. Many Hindus believe that such income is not fully and effectively utilized for the Hindu religious purpose but it adds to the treasury of the secular government apart from paying the salary of temple staff. And this happens while many ancient temples are running short of money to maintain themselves in a reasonable status. While other religions are utilizing such fund for their religious affairs such as learning, teaching and propagation of their religious texts, literatures, their customs etc, Hindus do not enjoy that freedom to have centers of learning, teaching etc. As a result, majority of Hindus becomes just ‘believers’ without possing the knowledge they are supposed to have about their culture, religion and religious practices,customs, rituals, literature etc. and its significance. They find it hard to find a facility in their neighborhood for the learning of their relevant religious texts and Samskritam, the language that is the key to treasures of HIndu wisdom.
8. Ideally, government officials & politicians should refrain from temple affairs and focus on their area of activity and excel in that.
9. Decision making authority & responsibility on temple affairs should be entrusted with a duly constituted, competent body that is populated with the subject experts such as Sanyasins from prominent ashrams /mutts, intellectuals and veterans in the Hindu religious & scriptural matters, and principles governing the installation and maintenance of temples.
10. As we know, there are a lot of such people in every states of India who have devoted their life for the pursuit of learning and propagating Hindu scriptures, spiritual practices and its ways and means and so on. But the knowledge of such visionaries are hardly utilized for any policy making, temple related issues etc and the community to which they belong to.
11. A suggestion about a model apex body to be laid out is stated here. We request this model be subjected for debate, correction and implementation by involving intellectuals. The model is explained below.
11.1. Based on the geographical area, each state may be divided into 3 or four zones. For example, to start with the southern most state, Kerala, it may be divided into 3 zones – Southern, Middle and North zones. Then the Government will nominate one IAS officer to each of these zones as Zonal Devaswam Commissioners (ZDC). The senior person will be the ‘Chief Devaswam Commissioner’.
11.2. These commissioners will initiate the process to constitute an apex body of Hindu religious and temple affairs preferably with name – ‘Hindu Mandir Seva Prathinidhi Sabha’ (HMSPS). The name shall remain uniform for all the states but with the prefix of the corresponding state name.
11.3. The zonal commissioners shall collect the data of ashrams, mutts, other spiritual/religious institutions, temples, scholarly individuals etc. Then, each institution will be contacted directly and by way of an announcement in the leading media, inviting expression of interest from all religious/cultural entities to join as member of HMSPS by explaining them the whole plan.
11.4. All such applicants/nominated persons should undergo a screening process to establish their credibility and caliber before being inducted into HMSPS. Care must be taken to counsel them well before so that no one gets misunderstood about the whole idea.
11.5. Such screened & finalized applicants & nominated persons shall elect one among them as their representative through secret balloting.
11.6. The elected representative and the Chief Devaswam Commissioner shall be the authorized joint signatories of HMSPS.
11.7. Any issue pertaining to the Hindu temples and the society at large shall be debated & decided in HMSPS in a democratic way.
11.8. Norms for recruitment, remuneration, training, etc of staff in each temple shall be decided by the HMSPS.
11.9. An executive officer with staff shall be appointed in each temple by the HMSPS with clearly stating his duties & responsibilities. The size of organization and the facilitations shall be governed by the prominence, size and activity of the temple.
11.10 HMSPS shall have zonal offices at a centrally located town.
11.11. With the implementation of this system after thorough debate at various forums in a time bound manner, the present system of secular government involving in temple affairs could be scrapped at the earliest.
11.12. HMSPS should facilitate centers for the learning (Pata Shala) of Samskritam language, Vedic Mathematics, The Chathur Vedas, Upanishads, Jyothisham, Vasthu Shasthra, Gemology, Vegetarian cookery, Basic customs & procedures of pooja, Environmental preservation, meaning & significance of the customs and rituals, science behind temple etc etc as prescribed by the religious and spiritual masters of Hindu Dharma. This would ensure that ignorant citizen will not get cheated by fraudsters and also to avoid Hindu religious becoming a center stage for the so called secularism drama.
11.13. Whenever situations demands and if required, the Minister of cultural affairs will act based on the inputs from the HMSPS and never directly.
We humbly request you to treat this with top priority since the efficient existence of Hindu Dharmic thoughts would directly imply the effective prevalence of secularism in India. We humbly request the government to subject the concept of creation of such a representative council for a national debate by scholarly people and enact a new suitable law at the earliest and help Hindus to know Hindu Dharma and its basics at least. Hindus wish to learn Hindu Dharma in an authentic way.
Mechanical engineering is handled by Mechanical engineers. Cardiology is handled by Cardiologists and Nuclear science is handled by nuclear scientists so as to have good results for the efforts. It would be disastrous if such technological establishments are controlled by non experts. Similarly Hindu temple affairs are to be handled by people who have expertise in the relevant sciences, physiology and psychology pertaining to temples. Else it would lead to undesirable effects to the society as we have been witnessing so far and at present.
So, a change for betterment is essential. We are hopeful of the newly elected government at the center under respectable leader ship of Shri Narendra Modi ji.
Sir, we humbly request you to do the needful to ensure equality and natural justice for Hindus along with the followers of other religions as assured by the Constitution of India.
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