Following massive protests across the country against a controversial bill that would impose government control over traditional ‘Guthi’ Hindu trusts, Nepal’s government has officially withdrawn the draft legislation, reports DNA.
The proposal for annulling the Guthi Bill was tabled in the National Assembly Minister for Land Reforms Padma Aryal and was approved with unanimous support in the House.
The Guthi system stems from the traditions of the Newar community which constitutes the original population of the Kathmandu Valley. There was immense backlash in the region as well as other parts of the country over the government’s Guthi Bill, which was registered in April this year (2019).
The government’s bill proposed putting all Guthis under one common authority, removing the present trustees from their positions heading these trusts.
Demonstrators were particularly concerned that public officials and politicians would use their new-found power over Guthis to embezzle funds and take over temple lands. Such concerns have routinely been espoused in India as well, where states like Tamil Nadu have seen multiple instances of government authorities mismanaging Hindu temples.