Why The Flippant Secular Outrage Against KCR’s Offering To The Tirumala Temple?
If it is that painful to watch the money make its way back to the temples, why not let the Hindu temples manage their own business without Government’s interference?
Telangana Chief Minister (CM) K Chandrasekhar Rao made an offering of Rs 5 crore worth gold jewellery to the deities at the Tirumala Temple in Andhra Pradesh, as thanksgiving for fulfilling his Chief Ministerial aspirations. When the news made headlines, every opinion maker started seeing red, calling the CM’s action incorrect because the state exchequer had to bear the bill.
Apart from the offerings made to the chief deity, CM Rao also offered a nose-stud worth Rs 45,000 to Goddess Padmavathi, to fulfil a vow he made during his campaign for Telangana's statehood. As part of what media calls the CMs ‘religious extravaganza’, he previously presented a Rs 3 crore gold crown at a temple in Warangal and conducted elaborate rituals at his 120-acre farmhouse.
The Endowments Department, Government of Telangana, sanctioned the money for the ornaments donated on Wednesday, through an order dated 24 February 2015. But the furore over the moolah is baseless as what is being termed as “public money” is, in reality, a contribution of the temples to the government. Government control and ‘nationalisation’ of temples, thanks to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act and its various state-level versions, grants the state absolute financial management control over hordes of temples and the crores of rupees of revenue they generate.
And if one is to raise a flag or seek justification for billing the exchequer of a secular state for religious purposes, then why were no answers demanded when the Telangana government went all out to provide financial assistance to ‘drivers of non-Hindu communities’ to own cars. Whose money was it then?
And if it is that painful to watch the money make its way back to the temples, why not let the Hindu temples manage their own business without Government's interference? Or are we asking for too much, given that we will deprive the state treasury of nothing less than a treasure, a ceaselessly topped up one at that?
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