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minority religions

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Petition to Narendra Modi ji, Shri Kiren Rijiju ji, Shri G.Kishan Reddy

CENTRAL LAW FOR AUTONOMOUS SYSTEM OF HINDU SCHOLARS FOR HINDU TEMPLES’ ADMINISTRATION

To  Honorable Prime Minister,  Shri Narendra Modi ji. Honorable Minister of State for Culture,    Shri Kishan Reddy ji,  Honorable Minister of Law & Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju ji, Dear Sirs, 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 on Thantra-Mantra-Yantra etc associated with temples, learning, teaching & propagation of Vedas, Upanishads, other scriptures and numerous other tenets of Hindu Religious & Cultural life. It is further humbly requested that the Constitutional guidelines and laws may be reviewed if required to effect a timely constructive change. 1. A new system for the service & maintenance of Hindu temples has to be developed and implemented at the earliest, considering the historical backdrop that led to the present state of affairs and by ensuring 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 process will not really stand the test of merit and competency when compared with a constituted 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 with rude manners as if the devotees committed a great mistake by visiting the temple. Recently, in Guruvayur temple, a devotee was beaten up by a temple employee. Many might have had several of such ill experiences to cite upon. All this happens because the people  who reach at the helm of affairs of temples through the provisions of HR & CE Act do not really posses the HRM skills, respects, protocols etc relevant at the Hindu temples. 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 are not fully and effectively utilized for purpose of the Hindu religious life but it adds to the treasury of the secular government apart from paying the salary of temple staff. At present, there are a lot of transparency concerns.  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, literature, 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 possessing the knowledge they are supposed to have about their culture, religion and religious practices,customs, rituals, literature etc. and its significances. 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. It would do good if government officials & politicians keep away from the administrative affairs of Hindu temples and focus well on their area of activity and excel in that. Government should seek information and intervene if any unlawful activities get reported. 9. Decision making authority & responsibility on temple affairs should be entrusted with a duly constituted, competent body that is populated with the subject experts, 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 state of India who have devoted their time 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 model for temple administration is presented here. We request this model be subjected for debate, correction and implementation by involving intellectuals. 11.1. Based on the geographical considerations, each state may be divided into 3 or four operating zones. For example, to start with the southern most state, Kerala, it may be divided into 3 zones – Southern, Middle and North zones. Then, one IAS officer will be nominated to each zone. as Zonal Devaswam Commissioners (ZDC). The senior most ZDC will be the ‘Chief Devaswam Commissioner’. 11.2. These commissioners will initiate processes to constitute an apex body for administration 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 about the whole plan. There should be stipulated norms for the eligibility. 11.4. All such applicants/nominated persons should undergo a screening process to establish their credibility and caliber before getting inducted into HMSPS. Care must be taken to counsel them well before so that no one gets insulted or misunderstood about the whole process & intentions.  11.5. Such screened & finalized applicants & nominated persons together 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 team and the facilitation shall be governed by the prominence, size and activity of the temple.  11.10 HMSPS shall have zonal offices at a centrally located town. All the accounts shall be subjected for a third party audit and published every year.  11.11. With the implementation of this system after thorough debate at various forums and in a time bound manner, the present system of secular governments 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. 11.14 The secular government should intervene in the religious affairs when and only when unlawful  and anti constitutional activities are reported. We humbly request you to treat this request with top priority as the efficient existence of Hindu Dharmic life would directly trigger 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 irrelevant people. Similarly Hindu temple affairs are to be handled by people who have expertise in the relevant sciences, physiology and psychology pertaining to temples or 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 in the present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. Sir, we humbly request you to do the needful to ensure natural justice and equality for Hindus along with the followers of other religions as assured by the Constitution of India.

Sunil Kumar KM
90,924 supporters
This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to The Government of India / The Supreme Court of India, the people of india

Justice for Sr Concelia Baxla, a Mother Theresa Sister and her employee, Ms Anima Indwar

*AN INNOCENT SISTER IN JAIL. NOT EVEN BAIL! TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY DAYS AND STILL WAITING...* 13th February , 2019 by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas,Secretary General of the CBCI https://www.cbci.in/Blog.aspx?id=eWuF6Q9PSys= Last week, I returned from an emotional heartbreaking visit to jail. I paid a long overdue visit to *Sister Concelia Baxla a Mother Teresa Sister* who along with an employee of the Nirmal Hriday Home, Ms Anima Indwar was arrested two hundred and twenty two days ago on charges of child trafficking. Nirmal Hriday (Immaculate Heart) is one of the 18 houses of mercy run by the Mother Teresa Sisters in the State of Jharkhand. _*The misuse of the police force, the manipulations of political authorities, the apathy of our justice system in the story of this poor, naive and innocent woman who has devoted all her life to the selfless service of the poor and marginalized is a story of many poor prisoners of our country. Many like her are languishing in jail as under trials waiting for the slow churning of the wheels of justice which often appear to be spun by money power, political clout, massive media propaganda and even blatant manipulation of evidence.*__*The poor sister suffers from diabetes and varicose veins. Uprooted from her daily routine, left to suffer alone, all of us, her co-sisters, Superiors, Bishops, priests and all who know her and are convinced of her innocence can only look up to heaven in helplessness and hope, as every attempt to even get bail for her has been brusquely rejected by our judiciary at various levels sometimes in a matter of minutes.*_I stood there outside the gate of the Birsa Munda jail waiting to be registered along with two other companions and many others for whom this must be a weekly or bi-monthly ordeal waiting to see some beloved living there behind the barbed wires and fortified walls. Every prisoner is allowed a visit once every week or fifteen days as decreed. Tens of poor people, some dejected, some anxious, some desperate wait patiently in front of a shabby structure to meet their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters friends incarcerated and waiting to be freed. Who knows what is going through their mind?A family of 4 stands before me. A boy about 10 years old is carrying a plastic bag of fruits for someone dear in prison. With him is a girl perhaps two years younger. As the lady gives her Adhaar card for registration, the police constable kindly but firmly tells her that the family cannot visit the prisoner because just the previous day he has received a visitor. They will have to come after 14 days. I can see the distress on the faces of the young family as they turn back to go home and I can only look down at the ground with their sadness and sorrow rubbing off on me.As I get myself registered along with Mr. Vepul Kaisar a dear friend from Kolkata and Adv. Siju Thomas a great collaborator and lawyer friend from Delhi (only three persons are allowed once in seven days), I am anxious, nervous, uncertain as to what I will say to Sister Concelia when I meet her.After all, our best efforts to bring relief to her including the services of the best of lawyers who had come to our aid had so far come to naught._*Throughout these two hundred and twenty two days contrasting emotions had welled up in me at every turn.*_*Disbelief* when news of her arrest reached me, *disgust* when false manipulated reports were circulated about the Mother Teresa Sisters, anger when obtaining the copy of the FIR was inordinately delayed due to non-availability of court fee, *frustration* when the District magistrate summarily dismissed the bail petition, *impatience* at not being able to get the order from the court even after fifteen days, *shock* when the sessions court rejected without arguments our appeal for bail, *worry* when the high court threw out our appeal, *joy* when a leading lawyer willingly took up our case pro bono in the Supreme Court and *despair* when the Supreme Court also would not allow our poor sister any relief._*What pains me most is that an elderly woman, suffering from ill health could not get bail because the charges had not yet been framed.*_At the back of my mind was the Supreme Court order by a two judge Bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur which had ruled in February 2018, “Another important facet of our criminal jurisprudence is that the grant of bail is the general rule and putting a person in jail or in a prison or in a correction home is an exception. Unfortunately, some of these basic principles appear to have been lost sight of with the result that more and more persons are being incarcerated and for longer periods. This does not do any good to our criminal jurisprudence or to our society”.But this yardstick does not seem to be applied for Sr. Concelia. *Neither the fact that she was a woman, nor her ill health, nor her age could move the judges to grant her the simple relief of being out on bail.*What would I say to Sr. Concelia?How could I tell her that we had collectively failed her?How would I face her knowing within myself that she would be there for some more time till God granted her mercy through human beings who till now appear to be merciless.I was engrossed in my thoughts of self reproach and utter helplessness as she was brought before us with two other women behind a double barred and netted window."How are you?" I asked her.I am ok she said.*Then she looked at me long with moist eyes and broke down crying.*I thought it was her despair, her feeling of being let down by us, her misery of suffering that was playing on her.How wrong I was!*Her next words stunned me.**_"Pardon me my Lord", she said, "I have brought shame to the Church", she burst out. "But I am innocent my Lord", she sobbed._*As she kept weeping, I tried to console her telling her that she has not hurt the Church but that rather on the contrary we feel helpless as we cannot bring her out despite knowing that she was completely innocent.*It was genuine sorrow, not self pity but agony for the suffering of the Church which suffers with her.*Deep within me I was full of admiration for this brave, selfless woman. *Here she was in jail, suffering humiliation and shame because political powers wished to use her to punish the Church for working for the poor, the marginalized and the destitutes. She was not worried about her own travail. She was concerned about the harm her arrest had done to the name of the Church.*I did not know how to react.Even as I stood touched and emotional, she continued sobbing."My Lord", she said, "I prayed so much that I may be released but perhaps God did not want it”. How could I tell her that some political power somewhere has decided that she be the sacrificial goat to get at the Church."I pray", she continued "and say my Jesus, 'you suffered and died for me, can I not bear this suffering for you though I am innocent'. I accept God's will", she said and burst out into a heart wrenching sob.As for me, I stood there across the barred, netted cage from which she was speaking unable to control my emotions anymore as tears flowed from my eyes and my voice broke down trying to console her.I needed a pause to regain my composure. I move aside and ask my companion to continue speaking to her. After some time, he broke down too.I did not have the courage to ask him what had transpired.I took over and resumed my conversation with Sr. Concelia a few moments later. She told me that though she gets Mass every Sunday, she would like to have communion everyday. I could not assure her that consecrated hosts could be left with her because of the difficulty of securing their safety in the circumstances in which she was staying. When I told her this again her reaction was of resignation to the will of God.*Ever since my visit to that jail, my faith in God and his Church has been reinvigorated. This simple woman with her faith in God, her dedication and devotion to the church, her readiness to accept suffering as the will of God has taught me more than one lesson. But it also raises in my mind many questions about justice and perceptions about innocence and guilt.* Even as I write this reflection, I have come to know that the alleged case of “Human Trafficking” against Sr Concelia is now being conveniently represented as a case of “Irregular Adoption”. The couple who is supposed to have “purchased” the child has been given anticipatory bail on the statement of the girl who gave birth to the child that she has handed over the child of her own free will. The maid at the hospital who helped in the transfer of the child to the “adoptive parents” has also been granted anticipatory bail. *Meanwhile our poor sister continues to be in Jail, two hundred and twenty two days in jail. She belongs to a Religious Order where sisters not only are not allowed to possess any money or belongings, but on their transfer carry just a bucket and a saree besides the one they wear. The nuns are allowed to visit their homes once in 10 years for three weeks, and can go home for a week if either of their parents die. But what they do possess is a rich community life which sustains them, the daily Eucharist which strengthens them and the comfort of serving the poor and the marginalized which motivates them. Sister Concelia is deprived of all three because of the repeated denial of bail.*This is what pains me most. Meanwhile Sr. Concelia lives the words of Psalm 9:9:“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”Meanwhile, I pray that my faith in God and love and dedication to the Church may be as great as hers.

Placid D'Mello
39,920 supporters