Uttarakhand’s 51 temple takeover case: BJP Govt objects to Subramanian Swamy’s petition

    In the temple takeover PIL filed by Subramanian Swamy, the Uttarakhand Government files its response, accuses him of trying to score political points

    In the temple takeover PIL filed by Subramanian Swamy, the Uttarakhand Government files its response, accuses him of trying to score political points
    In the temple takeover PIL filed by Subramanian Swamy, the Uttarakhand Government files its response, accuses him of trying to score political points

    Cites his tweets against Govt. and accuses him of scoring private and political interests

    The Uttarakhand Government on Wednesday justified the takeover of 51 temples including Kedarnath and Badrinath in High Court in a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and also expressed displeasure at Swamy’s tweets against the takeover of the temple. Asking for rejection of Subramanian Swamy’s petition, the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand Government claimed that the takeover of the temple was necessary due to natural calamities and to have transparent conduct of Char Dham pilgrimage in future. However, in the 21-page affidavit, the Government did not challenge the main contentions of Subramanian Swamy and the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict against the Nataraja Temple takeover and Government interference on the affairs of temples.

    The Uttarakhand High Court’s Bench consisting of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe in February issued notice to the Government on Swamy’s petition against the new Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act. On May 28, the High Court directed the State Government to reply by June 11[1]. Interestingly, the Government’s 21-page reply filed before the High Court consists of seven pages of Swamy’s series of tweets against the temples’ take over and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat becoming the Chairman of the Temple Board.

    After devoting several pages on Swamy’s tweeting and apprehensions against Swamy’s displeasure on the Act, Government said that due to the natural disaster in 2013 felt the need for the restructuring of administrative arrangements for the good conduct of Char Dham Yatra management.

    In many areas in the affidavit, the BJP ruled the Government claimed that Swamy’s petition will not come under the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) category and did rue Swamy’s tweets. “That it is relevant to point out here that the petitioner (Subramanian Swamy) after enactment of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, 2019 did several tweets and in his tweets, he has stated that Act is wholly mischievous, unconstitutional and against the ideology of Hindutva. Not only this, in one of his Tweet he started that before the enactment of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, 2019 the Advocate General of Uttarakhand should have consulted him.

    “It can be reasonably presumed that the petitioner has filed the present PIL being annoyed that the Learned Advocate General of the State has not consulted him before the Act was promulgated…… The petitioner is a political person. It appears that he has filed the present PIL Writ Petition in order to score his private and political interest,” said the affidavit filed State Culture Secretary.

    After devoting several pages on Swamy’s tweeting and apprehensions against Swamy’s displeasure on the Act, Government said that due to the natural disaster in 2013 felt the need for the restructuring of administrative arrangements for the good conduct of Char Dham Yatra management. Interestingly the Government’s affidavit also claimed that they wanted to have a good administration like Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu and Kashmir, Sai Baba, Jagannath, and Somnath Temple. It is curious how the Uttarakhand Government considered Sai Baba and compared it to this state’s controversial Act.

    “That in the year 2019, after the occurrence of natural disaster happened in the year 2013, need was felt to restructure the administrative arrangements in order to cater to the requirements for carrying out the Char Dham yatra management. Moreover, most of the pilgrims who visit Badrinath Ji and Kedarnath Ji Temples also visited Gangotri and Yamunotri which are equally famous religious circuits for pilgrims. Therefore, in order to include Yamunotri and Gangotri shrines under the new framework and to rejuvenate Gangotri, Yamunotri and other famous temples, there was a necessity to make effective legal provisions for the management and control of temples and Devasthanams located in Uttarakhand similarly as Shri Vaishno Devi Mata Temple established in Jammu and Kashmir, Sai Baba, Jagannath, and Somnath Temple in order to ensure better administration, management and to maintain transparency, to check misappropriation of funds and property and also provide better facilities, convenience and hygiene to the pilgrims,” said the Uttarakhand Governments’ affidavit objecting to Subramanian Swamy’s petition against the Act which took over 51 temples including Kedarnath and Badrinath Temples.

    Recently Subramanian Swamy urged Prime Minister to direct the State Government for withdrawing the controversial temple takeover act.

    However, in the entire reply affidavit, the Government did not answer on the points raised by Swamy on the landmark Supreme Court’s 2014 Judgment against the Tamil Nadu Government’s takeover of Nataraja temple in Chidambaram district. This case was filed by Subramanian Swamy. In the Judgment and many subsequent Judgments on the matter, the Supreme Court clearly said that temples should be managed by devotees and not the Government[2].

    “State has merely made an attempt to collaborate with trustees in administering the Char Dham Devasthanam. Their religious activities have not been touched, neither the powers of the trustees have been suspended. The power has been given to the CEO by the State Government only in the management of the Devasthanams. There has been no intention to remove the trustees altogether nor to violate the right given to them under Article 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution,” claimed BJP led Uttarakhand Govt’s affidavit justifying take over of 51 temples.

    Meanwhile, on Wednesday (June 10) Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conducted a review meeting with Uttarakhand Chief Minister on “review of Kedarnath reconstruction project,” said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement. Recently Subramanian Swamy urged Prime Minister to direct the State Government for withdrawing the controversial temple takeover act[3].

    References:

    [1] Uttarakhand HC directs the State Govt file reply in two weeks on Subramanian Swamy’s petition against the takeover of 51 templesMay 28. 2020, PGurus.com

    [2] Temples should be managed by devotees, not government: SCApr 8, 2019, The Times of India

    [3] Subramanian Swamy urges Prime Minister to direct the Uttarakhand Chief Minister to withdraw the 51 templ temples takeover actMay 27, 2020, PGurus.com

    Team PGurus

    17 COMMENTS

    1. We must find ways to form trusts headed by honest pious God fearing people, Though they are very rare bread nowadays. And BJP should honestly work to achieve Hindutwa goal. BJB should work honestly and selflessly. Members of BJP Are lucky to have a strong leader like Shri Modiji… people have supported BJP with high expectations ….if all of us …don’t get together and work for the renascence of Hindutwa … then who will do it for us ? Sanatana Dharma has sustained more then thousand years of abuse and I bow my head to our elders who preferred to die but not to convert. Brothers and sisters we need to recognise that we are all children of one Mother ie… Bharat Mata and work with Tanu, Mana, Dhana to achieve our goal.

    2. BJP needs to be taught a lesson not to take Hindus for granted. This govt in Uttarkand needs to be thrown out, during next election, to send a message to BJP.
      If BJP keeps inducting congress neta into the fold for political power, this is what would happen.

    3. Swami ji…
      Since you are from cholavandan I guess you know about Madurai periyar bus stand…
      How’s periyar linked to Madurai?
      All these are plots of christian missionary not to have Meenakshi Amman name for Madurai bus stand…
      If they are so particular about not having my own hindu goddess name for my own city bus stand in my own hindu country…. Why should India have all those stupid jesus,mary,joseph names for educational institutions in my Bharat?
      I curse all Brahmins who were bothered about their own selfish improvement , high education in convent schools, flying abroad for material purposes but not unite to protect Hinduism…..
      Most of the convent educated Brahmins convert or fly abroad and to stick in there convert or work against Hinduism… for a few material benefits…

      The Main duty of Brahmins should be to protect Hindu dharma… against all odds..
      But what do we hear…
      Bible venu Srini looting Srirangam temple for money which he can’t take with him…
      All those christian convert Carnatic singers who sold Thiagaraja and his keerthanas for name, fame n money..
      Idiotic cine stars who don’t lead a good life talk and advice youngsters…(u know who)

      Here in tamilnadu a christian fisheries minister jayakumar (who spoiled a girls life n gave a child) is in charge of recruitment and when the scams were out, it’s sent to some christian Philip to proceed with the case…
      I am damn sure lot of missionary agents benefited by that recruitment scams… But in magazines only a few hindu names will be leaked out…so as to make people unsuspicious of what happened behind the scenes…

      Christianity is full of treachery, lies, looting others wealth…no disciplined life…murders for power n money…etc..

      Bhagwan Shiva rightly told me not to believe in any christian….

    4. Fully agree…

      What did mary,Xavier,Paul,Joseph do to India or its welfare…why should we still have these names for colleges/schools and worst is missionary schools…with government aids..are we still under british…?

      We were Bharat (like indraprastha of yudhishthira) …and by illegal means and treachery we were ruled by british (duryodhan) and once their rule is over it’s time to revoke all their land grants …and school grants (with the sole purpose of conversion)
      Why are we still having these foreign country started colleges in independent India?
      Nehru must have been a christian convert and so are all till now…
      No true Hindu found place to become the prime minister till date to take bold steps ..
      No country will come in support for these anti national christian missionary schools…
      Because they don’t give special reservations to black people in their quota of educational institutions and school/college admissions….

      • Fully agree with Vijay ji……

        BJP must be dumped just like Congress. Need a new party that will really cater to Hindutva, restore pre Macaulay days & make policy of identity of India.

    5. The temples in Bharath were a part of faith of the people who lived/lives with Santana faith and for the benefit of the entire believers for the well being. And in general, it was never under the dynasties who built them. But were left to the devotees who maintained it with full faith and devotion. The administration was under the control of the respective temples which carried out the functions in good faith and sincerity and Bharath prospered making it as the Golden cage in the entire World. Now the State Governments which are so called elected have lost the faith of the devotees of these Temples and are not to be under these Governments any more. That is the main motto of this petition and must be welcomed even by the ruling Governments in the States.

    6. The affidavit seems to target Dr.Swamy personally abusing him I think this case is a cake walk for
      Dr.Swamy who knows the law like back of his hand Jai Shri Ram

    7. In this case BJP is correct. There is no change in trustees nor the religious activities ,and the purpose of take over, Is to facilitate investment by govnt for improvement in infra after cyclone damage and also provide better facilities for piligrims. Chardham is an international tourist destination / hill station which requires massive infra development ( including hotels ) and fund may not be with temple trustees. So the action of BJP is justified as the govnt is funding a hindu project and in fact Congis should have complained.

      If the temples are to be handed to Hindus, the question is What and which type of Hindus are going to run the temples. In case of Nataraja temple, it is the Archakas who are running the temple ,and it may lead to controversy. At present Mutts and Aadheenams are run by respective mutt heads but running and administering an ancient temple requires professional expertise.

      Take case of govnt run AP temple Tirupati, it is supported by govnt by providing good ghat road, good service road, rail and air connectivity. The CEO is an IAS officer who may get works done with the help of other. govnt depts. Now if you want to manage this temple along with other major AP temples, the same can be done under PPP model or an exclusive trust whose trustees will be elected by residents of AP with few nomination of eminent Hindus by CM and Governor.

      Each state in the country has its own range of temples with various type of rituals and customs and if Hindus want to run the show, they have to form TRUSTS with elected members but
      with no govnt interference, especially judiciary, and not to hand them over to Archakas, but they will integral part in framing rituals. Most of the ancient / govnt administered temples were built and managed by a king, whose funding came from state treasury and income from donations and agri lands. Every temple in India owns lands worth billions.

      Temples should definitely be run by Hindus, but there has to be a mechanism to govern them as per laws with emphasis on leakage of money and the revenue to go to Hindus only.Running a mosque or church, places of prayer- is easy . Mosques are funded by NGOs and indirectly by Arab countries with no hundi money. In case of P churches , the pastors run the show like Kirana store and the catholics run the show thru income from colleges, Commercial complexes. While churches / mosques are built on plain terrain, most temples are built on hillocks and mountains and to have access to them, govnt funding is essential.

      No doubt Shri Swamy , a noble hindu is fighting for a right cause. Equally UK is a hindu run state and their take over is not to humiliate Hindus but to develop temples with best possible facilities to hindu piligrims by pumping govnt money.

      As Modi is directly involved in UK temple development , Shri Swamy should sleep over his petition ( is like an ego war between Krishna and Balarama )at least for now. If Swamiji can help to provide toilet facilities near temples at least in AP , it will be greatest service to Hindus. At present Swatch Bharat mission covers people homes, but not homes where devatas reside.

      • What nonsense you are talking? Have you read the Act? CM is the Chairman of Temple Board. If CM is a non-Hindu, then senior Hindu Minister will be the Chairman. What will be your opinion, when Uttarakhand, rule by Congress? IAS officer is the CEO of the Board. When it comes to BJP ruled, BJP guys silent. If other States, temple taken over, they just BARK. Be it Tamil Nadu or Andhra or Kerala. Don’t show duplicity in ideology

    8. BJP must be dumped just like Congress. Need a new party that will really cater to Hindutva, restore pre Macaulay days & make policy of identity of India.

    9. It is really sad that even the BJP Govt. is following the same trend as followed by all anti-hindu Govts. right from the British to the Congress.. The Govt should confine itself provide infrastructure like all weather roads. electricity, drinking water and health care facilities to the shrines. It should leave the management and rejuvenation etc to the Trust boards constituted by the Hindus. Otherwise, the purity and sanctity of the shrines will vanish and they will degenerate into commercial establishments like many other temples in the country. The BJP’s defacto Supremo should immediately correct the situation instead of dragging the case more..

    10. If Congress takes over our temples, it’s called pseudo secularism & desh drohi.
      But if BJP takes over our temples, it’s called nationalistic & desh premi.

    11. The response appears to be a rehash of Congress response to National Heral case. Curious to know who the advocate on the UK govt side is and what’s their relationship with Congress party.

    12. Where is BJP’s ideology – Temples should be managed by devotees and not Govt???? Someone is eyeing on huge construction contracts in the name of Char Dham yatra project. PM Modi is hiding something on this. Totally adharmic decision

    13. Where is BJP’s ideology – Temples should be managed by devotees and not Govt???? Someone is eyeing on huge construction contracts in the name of Char Dham yatra project. PM Modi is hiding something on this

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