Revenues of various temples across the country are going up. Within five years the revenues of Somnath temple has grown from Rs 2 crore to Rs 10 crore and the number of visitors too have gone up five fold. The collection from the hundi in Tirupati is not less than Rs. 1 crore a day and during the 41 days Mandalam period, the revenue at Sabarimala was Rs.51.16 crore. With such money around, it is lucrative for the Govt. to meddle in temple affairs even though it goes against the separation of the Temple and State
The Flushing Remonstrance, a 1657 Colonial American petition to Peter Stuyvesant, the Governor of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution’s provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights. The separation of Church and State, championed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson made sure that the Congress would not pass any law respecting the establishment of a religion. Besides freeing the State from religion, their intention was to keep the State away from matters of the Church.
In India such separation should result in the State keeping away from temple affairs, the way it keeps away from the affairs of mosques and churches. Instead we have a Communist minister telling us what should be done in Guruvayoor temple and who should be let in.
In a welcome move, the newly elected BJP Govt. of Himachal Pradesh has decided to stop interfering in temples.
“State government shall not indulge in
functioning of temples. It shall add facilities to the temples so that
more pilgrims and tourists visit them…My government will lift state’s
control over temple management,” he said.[Himachal will follow ‘Gujarat model’ for SEZs: Dhumal ]
Yes, most of our ministries are redundant and we should do away with them.