A landmark judgment by Kerala HC on control of Hindu temples

Be transparent in appointments, Kerala High Court tells the Marxist government

A landmark judgment by Kerala HC
A landmark judgment by Kerala HC

Temples in Kerala have been the Kamadhenus or Holy Cows of political parties in the State

Even as the Kerala Government is trying to take full control of all Hindu temples in the State and bring them under the direct management of the CPI (M), the Kerala High Court on Monday delivered a lethal blow to the State Government as well as the CPI(M).

When the Court asked the Government of Kerala how the appointments to the Devaswam Boards were being made, the government did not have a proper and convincing reply which spilled the beans

A bench of Justices P R Ramachandra Menon and Devan Ramachandran said in a landmark judgment on Monday that the appointments to Devaswam Boards in Kerala, which control, administer and rule the temples, are riddled with secrecy and the Government has to change it with immediate effect.

T G Mohan Das, Kerala president, Virat Hindustan Sangam, who is also the petitioner, in this case, told Team PGurus that if the Government implements the recommendations of the High Court, it is sure that the temples would come out of Government control. Das, described as a one-man army waging an intellectual, cultural and political battle against the Lefts and other religious fundamentalists in the State has been waging this legal battle since 2015.

When the Court asked the Government of Kerala how the appointments to the Devaswam Boards were being made, the government did not have a proper and convincing reply which spilled the beans. It may be noted that T Rajesh, a CPI(M) MLA, and a known Hindu baiter had introduced a private member’s bill in the legislative assembly to take over the entire Hindu temples in the State.

Temples in Kerala have been the Kamadhenus or Holy Cows of political parties in the State. Though the Devaswam Boards in the State which administer the temples should have believers as their members the Communists pack them with their own nominees, mostly non-believers. Recently, the Travancore Devaswam Board wound up a vegetarian canteen in the premises of Raja Rajeswari Temple at Thiruvananthapuram and launched an exclusive non-vegetarian restaurant selling beef. The TDB is headed by Padmakumar, an acolyte of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala is administered by TDB. But the temple or the Devaswam Board do not maintain a book of account and the public is in the dark about the goings-on in the temple and on the board. The post of a peon in TDB commands a premium of Rs 5,00,000. It is an open secret that the post of the chief priest of Sabarimala is auctioned to the highest bidder. Along with the TDB, the members of the Thazhaman Family, the traditional priests (Thanthri) of the temple are having a free run in the affairs of the temple. Mohanaru, the elder son of the Thanthri, was caught red-handed while he was performing “Pooja” with a notorious woman in an Ernakulam apartment.

The appointment of the chief priest of Sabarimala Temple is for one year and the going rate for the post varies between Rs 50 lakhs to Rs one crore, according to a seasoned priest in Ernakulam. “I applied a couple of times but the amount they ask for is beyond my capacity,” said the Namboodiri who belongs to a well known Illam in Kerala.,

Justice R Mahadevan of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court accepted the contention of a devotee who proved with statistics and details extracted through Right to Information Act

The Kerala Government has made it mandatory for the TDB to deposit a major chunk of the annual income of Sabarimala Temple in the Government account in the state treasury and nationalized banks. No question is asked about how the money is spent by the government though there are reports that the money is transferred to some of the church and mosque accounts.

The copy of Monday’s judgment is yet to be uploaded in the Kerala High Court website due to server error. As and when the verdict copy is uploaded we will bring it to the notice of respected readers.

It may be remembered that Madras High Court in a recent order has asked the Tamil Nadu Government to furnish the details of 50,000 acres of prime land which disappeared from the temple properties which come under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department.

Justice R Mahadevan of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court accepted the contention of a devotee who proved with statistics and details extracted through Right to Information Act that 40 years ago, temples and related religious institutions in the State-owned 5.25 lakh acres of agricultural land which has come down to 4.78 lakh acres by 2017.

The justice ordered the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department to initiate urgent measures to retrieve the 50,000 acres of prime property and report back to the Court about the action taken. Temple worshippers allege that the Dravidian governments which ruled the State during the last five decades disposed off these prime lands to their relations and associates and for gratification.

If these verdicts are read together with the Supreme Court verdict on the Chidambaram Temple administration in Tamil Nadu, the day is not far off when all temples in the country would be freed from the shackles of the governments.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE JUDGMENT

Team PGurus

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

31 COMMENTS

  1. The Devaswom board takes over only those temples that have land or is “profitable”. All temples at BPL (Below Profitable Levels) are left alone.. Till the time they are profitable. When they are profitable, Devaswom board will claim the temple

  2. Christians or Muslims are not the enemies of Hindus. Hindus like T Rajesh are the worst enemies of Hindus. Indian National Congress is a camaflouage to Christian Missionaries. Communists are nothing but pepetrators of class division of people to retain their political influences. People like Jignesh, the new found Dalit leader, are the tools in the hands of Congress and Communists.

    The lesson for Hindus is clear. If they continue practising casteism, they will only weaken themselves. Unfortunately casteism is practised these days not by Upper Castes but but Lower Castes for monetary gains.

    Reservation based on economic basis for all Indians is the only way to save India. However, reservations ought not take away the qualifying criteria for any position.

  3. Spirituality or religion matters are so very personal part of belong our non physical self and are deep inside our mind and when they take a public shape or idea to share then there is a problem. Roads bridge infrastructure etc are secular concepts coz all make people make use of them so in a public place any thing of one believer and any thing of another believer soon will come into conflict becsause they are fighting internal issue whatever fits them in an external environment e.g. A is using underwear and B is not using at all any; and yet they are proclaiming in public their own things internal as comfortable publicly while out there any one has his or her own comfort (sorry for analogy). The moment any personal things are made public we should allow each and every one also to proclaim whatever they are doing. Religion spirituality etc actually mean some thing personal thinking inside and has no relevance to or from outside to any one at all. Just like what internal garments one is wearing or not wearing is ones own comfort but one cannot go on saying that one should wear it or not wear it. For one religion person in public what he is up to has no bearing for another religion person in a common public area starting from his house and ending to another persons house and his for both persons and vice Vedas too… coz it is each person’s belief system of whatever it is. How in a Hotel all religion people stay or walk on like Bridges roads see Eiffel Tower Taj Mahal etc and make use thereof irrespective of whatever is their religion is or is not. Any persons one Hindu one Muslim or one Christians watching any public places or using public places has no bearing internally with whatever is their religion or not. So when in public place 1 religion people want to make some thing worship place or whatever then a circle need to be made around which all other religion place must be given a place indicating all religion can co exist and no religion need to proclaim that theirs is the only religion greater and all must convert to it .. no not at all …the one circle housing all religions will be easy to monitor for safety of every one and all. Like in a train all religion people travel and all are safeguarded by all concerned irrespective of whichever religion one belongs to. If we allow separate places for religion in public place which actually is a private belief system then problems arise individually as present and in the past. In fact within a family of any religion there is really no common ground within members of family on belief they have coz they are just part of one family they are together irrespective of their own belief… not to mention what happens in a cross religion couples family even as their children would always be confused which parent’s religion should they follow and as they grow up they will have their own clarity of perceptions but till then there will be one confusion and conditioning or the other right or not right whatever it is. So we need to make lasting and impacting reforms bringing each and every one on board like make a common complex for all religions worship places together just like a residential housing (risk mitigated with security etc) complex in dubai mumbai london houses all religion or ethnic people together but if any one wants external public religion place then make place around a circle for others religion place as well and should be in area common. We have areas where all hospitals are nearby medical shops nearby provision shops nearby all malls or multiplexes nearby all courts near by all govt offices nearby. So same way why not all religions worship place should be nearby and let us consolidate it by bringing in one common place of all religions to have worship places in same area which will generate curioustiy about other religions where ever they may be from. In the same way just like creamatoriums are the last rite places of each religion is located adjacent to each other or facing each other there should be no problems to any one to have worship places also coexist side by side. Just as the same place from wherever one has come in this world is same everywhere all over the world including other living creatures that is out of delivery from the womb it is same for all any religipeople irrespective of country religion caste culture etc.even the tomb or worship place should also exist side by side irrespective of whatever they may be following or believing during their time between birth and death. So 1 womb 1 tomb theory need to be followed otherwise it is rightly happening a ticking bomb.
    So womb tomb and bomb rhymes so beautifully for each soul on this earth irrespective of any other persons religions etc.

  4. I read the article and the judgment in the TDB, CDB case with interest. The conclusion drawn by the author that temples will soon be freed from government control does not appear to be supported by the judgment.
    There is specific mention that the Chidambaram temple case is not a refrence or parallel since temple control is not with a ‘particular denomination’.
    Despite the detailed arguments pleading for reduced government control, the judgment says that they can only recommend that the appointment of Board members must be made more transparent. In matters the judges have held that there is no need to strike down any of the clauses governing the board appointments.
    It is really a paradox that in a secular nation Hindu temples are more or less under complete government control! Wonder whether there will be change in this status in forseeable future.

  5. If Hindus irrespective of their castes do not nite under one head or all sub heads under a team of pro Hindu Head all the Hindus will be ruined very soon.

  6. Very good judgement, but Let government bring all religion based association, societies, church, temples, mosque etc under its surveillance. Lot of Christian , Muslim, Hindu and other associations are run for building up individual bank balances. This in turn is used for unjustified purposes. Non one is cared about upbringing of society instead the money is used for political funding, popularizing the religion, conversion etc.

  7. Im very proud in u Sir, we hindus have no unity, so we are suffering these type anti hindu activities by the Govt of Kerala, CPM ruling party, The high court, s big blow to the Govt, we have good hope for save our temples from these type CPM anti hindu ruling party, Thanks a lot to TG Sir, Swami sir and who involved in this spectacular historic movement.Jai hind, jai Bharath,

  8. It is believed that left parties are non religious.
    But now it seems they are very much anti Hindus. Anyhow the casteism weekens the Hindus.
    So the the casteism is the CANCER of India.

    • Even christians mention their castes in their profile
      A high Court judge christian by religion mentions his caste in his profile

    • CANCER can be cured but casteism can’t be cured. Indian politicians practice the perfect art of dividing the country according to caste and creed.
      Let us not insult CANCER by equating it with casteism. Patients suffering from cancer have a decent chance to live but society divided along caste lines has no chance whatsoever.

      • K S Narayanan Birth based castes (a creation of our colonial white masters like Lord Risley) should go but flexible, qualities based, socially mobile jathi should be encouraged. Jathi is multi varna eg Fishermen community in tamil nadu has their own hindu priest (for their ishta devata), business people, kshathria and skilled workers. Jathi is the heart beat of swadeshi economic model which India may follow eventually after getting rid of imported and failed “capitalist model” of the west.

    • Very aptly said
      So long as we Hindus perpetuate the Casteism
      Which is actually not part of Hindu culture all
      Enemies of Hindus will prosper
      Varnasmara was never properly understood
      by anyone till date

  9. 100% educated keralites deserve this and much more for voting Communists… A Beef restaurant on Temple premises.

  10. I would rather see this as the first step of court. I reside in trivandrum(capital) . I know some major dewasom temples here gets least attention. Most major dewasom temples are not kept well.. Most of them do not have a proper local committee (local residents or selected 12 member group (devotees) residing within 5km radius). The absence of such local committee lets the CPM lead temple employees (including poojari) to be careless about temple routines.. Most of them see their job as nothing holy but “just a money machine”. Many temples have lost its land to other bodies and there is no discussion about it… For eg : Lord vinayaka temple lost its 94cent land to near by mosque in palayam, chenttita temple lost its big pond to railways and railways is running a case to acquire further space from the temple,however their is no news of any compensation plans, this temple had three side entry but two doors are kept closed these days since those areas are dumped with swage, in fact a communist party member is running a dog mating business just outside a door that it stinks so badly that side that many devotees refrain to go that side to pray Lord muruga. On the other side majority of Trivandrum city is acquired by Christian missionaries but there is no source check behind their purchase.. By the way, Christians were truly a minority in trivandrum till recent past.. But their relentless funding and churches construction across the district has made them grow significantly in recent past. The kerala Christian’s party called “congress” or anti-hindu party called “communist” are least concerned about the growth of Christian and Muslims in the state, they have problem only if hindus demands to retain their population . You will see thousands of Christian conversion camps and Islamic speech of hatred in kerala but kerala govt has no problem. But ever if a hindu attempts to do the same effort, he might face hard consequences… God alone can now save the “God’s own country”

    • Better to adopt their model.. start a church.. name the lord as jesus narayana or jesus siva.. bring into fold everyone and do bhajans .. aarti and all that is followed in a hindu temple… if you cannot face the government this will be the only way in fact now churches are designed like a temple.. better this .. kerala need to be secular now to chrisitian and islam.. when hindus become totally minoirty wihch ever religion is dominant be it christianity or islam will enforce… then kerala state religion will be one of the two… let us see whether allah wins or jesus wins…

  11. It is a fact that temple properties and administration are in the hands of the non believers. We hear that in West Bengal a muslim is appointed as trustee in the famous Tarakeshwar Temple. But hindus are as usual sleeping over all these serious issues.

  12. I don’t see it as a big blow. The court is demanding that the procedure be made transparent. This does not mean government will stop putting its people on Temple Boards. They will simply come up with a sham process for the sake of it. For example, they will say the priests are voted by the public. But they will put up only priests of their choice as options. So whoever wins, he is still their man.

    I don’t want to belittle this achievement but ending government control on temples does not mean making government more accountable. It means getting government completely out of temple affairs.

    • Thank you for caring about the temples Kerala HC! Special thanks to Swamy & Mohandas TG for standing up for spirituality & right to temple worship

  13. What is that moron “culture” minister Mahesh Sharma doing on this super significant issue? The Modi Administration has two outright crooks in Mahesh SHARMA and Prakash Javadekar… And this is the precise reason why Hindu Cause is still waiting to receive the deserving attention…

      • Sir I don’t think he is wrong at all..Thank you for giving this site to people like us for a good alternative but these two minister doesn’t deserve to be called erudite..They have considerably weaken the chances of survival of Hinduism in India..It is high time the ruling government aware of the blunders of these two minister and replace their place with good intellectuals..Thank you..

    • very obvious that you are far off from ground reality, you need to learn more on the subject before attempting to comment.

  14. The headline is misleading. The body of the report does not bear it out. The court has only said that the system shd change but has not laid down any guideline for the changes.
    Disappointing.

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