Jalgaon – “Maharashtra Government has taken over big temples on the grounds that their management is not proper. Just as the Government has established a ‘Waqf Board’ for the protection of Mosques and madarasas, why does the Government not set up a ‘Hindu Board’ for the protection and management of temples and hand them over to such a Board instead of taking them over ?”, said Supreme Court Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain during a Press conference. He is fighting on the ‘Gyanvapi’ issue of Kashi (Varanasi). He demanded that representatives of Hindu Dharma such as Shankaracharyas, Mahamandaleshwars, Mathadhipatis be appointed to such a Board with the status of a ‘Public Servant’. Mr Ramesh Shinde (National Spokesperson of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti [HJS]) was also present during the Press conference, which was held in the backdrop of the ongoing State level ‘Maharashtra Mandir-Nyas Parishad’ of temple Trustees in Jalgaon.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain added that in 1995, the then Union Government passed the unconstitutional ‘Waqf Act’ to appease Muslims. Based on this, the members of the Waqf Board were given the status of Public Servants. No other community, except for Muslims, has been given the status of Public Servants. After the Waqf Board claims some property, the property is surveyed. Thus, the Waqf Board is empowered to register the property directly with the Registrar as Waqf property. There is no provision to inform the owner of that land while doing so. In 2005, the Waqf Board had also declared the Taj Mahal as a Waqf property, said Advocate Jain.
Temples are being allotted to politicians to please them : Mr Ramesh Shinde
“The Government has taken over 4 lakh Hindu temples. Earlier, politicians who did not get a place in the State Cabinet, would be appeased by making them Chairperson of some Corporation. Now these leaders are given a temple. Thousands of acres of land belonging to the Pandharpur Temple, which was taken over by the Government, was earlier not at all under the control of the Government. Due to a petition filed by the Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad and the efforts of HJS, 1021 acres of land have been returned to the Temple. HJS’ legal battle in this regard is continuing. The donation box of the Tuljapur Temple in Maharashtra was being auctioned publicly. There has been corruption of crores of Rupees associated with the gold and silver that had accumulated in the donation box. The Court-appointed inquiry Committee has held 16 officers, employees and auctioneers guilty of this crime. The then Government took an inappropriate stand that no action should be initiated against these corrupt people”, said Mr Shinde, and warned the Government that HJS will continue its fight in this regard and no corrupt individuals will be spared.
Shankaracharyas, Mahamandaleshwars, Mathadhipatis should be appointed to a ‘Hindu Board’ to manage temples !