Recent incidents that have come to light in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and the Endowment Department where persons professing a different faith holding responsible positions in Hindu organisations point to a deeper malady affecting the manner in which Hindu temples are administered and run.
One of the Deputy Executive Officers (Deputy EOs) of TTD was seen going to a church in the TTD vehicle and another officer in the Endowments Department when he was caught by the ACB during the course of the investigation it is revealed that he does not practise or profess Hindu religion.
Already there is a provision in the Act for establishment of a Dharmic Parishad. It is observed more in its breach than in its observance by the AP government since they find it much easier to control and politically manage these institutions with the existing secular staff rather than to have a Dharmic Parishad with people of eminence and strong religious faith, which can become counter to the political authority of the government concerned. It is high time the government gives up this attitude of politically controlling the religious establishments and establishes a Dharmic Parishad consisting of people with strong religious conviction who can guide the functioning of these institutions.
The government should be willing to forego a lot of power it now exercises over these institutions, in arbitrarily dealing with the Endowment Department lands and assets, allotting it as political patronage and allowing a more neutral religious body to look after the issues of the Hindu temples. Till such a change in mindset is there in the political leadership, these serious issues of malfunctioning which are manifested in terms of people of different faiths holding important positions within the Hindu religious institutions cannot be set right.