Temple funds in Karnataka will be spent for those who have contributed to it, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said as he announced ‘Saptapadi’, a mass marriage scheme, through which the government will conduct marriages in 100 A-grade temples for Hindu couples across the state.
“Temple funds are nothing but public money given in the form of donation. We’re using them for the benefit of the public,” said Yediyurappa, launching the logo of the scheme earlier this week.
Hundred A-grade temples, revenues of some of those are close to Rs 100 crore, will host these marriages and bear their costs too.
Of the 34,000 temples in Karnataka that are under state control, 175 are A grade which means they earn a revenue of more than Rs 25 lakh. These temples will now be asked to utilise the funds to conduct these mass marriages.
The marriages will be held on 26 April and 24 May this year (2020) and all the couples who get married through this scheme will have their marriages registered on the spot.
Those who wish to get married at these two mass weddings will have to register at any of the Muzrai temples 30 days in advance with the necessary documents. There is also a provision to file objections if any.
The last date to register for the 26 April ceremony is 27 March, while for that of May is 24 April. The final list of couples getting married will be announced on 11 April and 9 May respectively, as reported.
The government will provide the couple with a gold mangalsutra weighing 8 grams, and the bride and groom a cash gift of Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively. Bengaluru too will host these marriages in eight temples across the city including Banashankari, Gavi Gangadhareshwara, Kadu Malleshwara and the Dodda Ganapathi temple.
This initiative is expected to cost around Rs 5.5 crore.
While calling this an effort to help the poor, who would else have to resort to borrowing to bear the marriage expenditure, Yediyurappa stressed that this was the first time the government was conducting an activity of this kind that would benefit all classes of people.
Yediyurappa had earlier led the agitation against the Congress government under the leadership of Siddaramaiah that had rolled out the Shaadi Bhagya scheme that offered financial assistance exclusively to Muslim women, and sought its extension to women of all communities, irrespective of religion.
Minister for Muzrai, Kota Srinivas Poojary, had in an interview to Swarajya late last year, assured that the temple funds will be used for Hindu causes alone, one of which would be conducting marriages for poor Hindu couples.
Also read: Will The Karnataka Government Free Hindu Temples? Or, Will Temple Money Be Protected? Muzrai Minister Speaks To Swarajya