Padma Shri awardee Dr T Hanuman Chowdhry along with retired IAS and IPS officers have petitioned the Jaganmohan Reddy led Andhra Pradesh seeking that Hindu temples in the state be freed from government control.
In the petition campaign hosted on CrowdKash, Dr Chowdhry is joined eminent personalities like former IAS officers IYR Krishna Rao, K Padmanabhaiah and ex-IPS officers M Nageswara Rao and K Aravinda Rao, in seeking a return of the temple management back to the Hindu devotees.
The petition claims that Andhra Pradesh government today controls 23,846 Hindu temples and their properties worth thousands of crores, with more being taken over by the day.
Dr Chowdhry says that Hindus should have the same freedom in managing their temples as is provided for the management of mosques and churches.
"Kindly disengage yourself from the management and administration of Hindu temples, declare the date you want to hand over (the temples) and invite suggestions from the Hindus as to whom should the temples be handed over to", says Dr Chowdhry.
He adds that the Hindu community should be asked by the government to suggest the required legislation which needs to be enacted and the arrangements they would make to run the temples. He appeals to the Jagan Reddy led government to hand over the control of temples to Hindus by 31 December 2021.
The petition which has generated 7,000 signatures so far, also demands that the Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1987 be repelled and a new law be enacted in its place.
This new law - the petition says should allow Hindus to administer Hindu temples and their properties through a body consisting of religious persons and Hindu representatives with the government exercising no control whatsoever in the process.
It adds that the funds, properties and all the resources of the temples should only be used for the maintenance and development of the Hindu temples; for the religious well-being of the Hindus and Hindu community; and for the preservation, promotion and propagation of Hinduism.
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