One of the first statements you come across on the website of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department’s website is this one: “The management and control of the temples and the administration of their endowments is one of the primary responsibilities of the state” (italics mine).
The irony of the government of a “secular” state running religious institutions is obviously lost on HR&CE. More so when we note that the state has been intermittently ruled by parties like DMK whose leadership has, in the past, formally professed rationalist and atheist beliefs.
But we shall let that pass and presume that, despite top-level political antipathy to Hindu religion, HR&CE is willing to hold its nose and do everything it can to run the 38,481 temples and endowments under its control fairly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case. When you put the fox in charge of the hen-house, you don’t get better protection of your millennia-old spiritual and historical heritage, but wayward behaviour by officialdom. Beneath the surface, corruption festers, and priceless idols and valuables are bartered away for filthy lucre.
This is apparent from a recent Madras high court judgment in two cases (Crl OP Nos 8690 and 12060 of 2017), where the petitioners had complained about officials being careless in protecting idols worth crores of rupees, and possibly acting in cahoots with idol smugglers.
Read full news: – https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/fence-that-eats-the-crop-government-running-hindu-temples-is-another-anomaly-indias-selective-secularism-fosters/
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