Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Return of Jazia?

Author: Vaidehi Nathan
Publication: Organiser
Date: November 21, 2004

Introduction: Almost all the big temples the commies are eyeing solely depend on their income to run their day-to-day affair. In Andhra, Tirupati temple funds are taken for development.

The comrades in Red are reinventing Aurangzeb. In their wisdom, they are suggesting to the UPA government to collect a cess from temples in India. Couched in the words ‘places of worship’, they have cited Vaishno Devi, Tirupati, Golden Temple, Amritsar and such shrines.

Of course, this is not the communists' first attempt at dipping a finger in the pie. In Kerala, the temple management boards have been in the hands of communists, Congress and even Muslim League when they were in power.

But the suggestion that the temples be taxed amounts to charging tax on the Hindus. This when Mulayam Singh in UP has exempted all Wakf property from government scrutiny. The communists have come up with this proposal in the blue-print they have prepared on tax reforms, to help the government. It is to be presented to the Finance Minister via the UPA Coordination Committee before the budget. It gives out their split vision in anything concerning the ethos, faith and heritage of the country. There is no difference between them and the marauder Ghazni, who according to them invaded the Somnath temple 17 times for loot.

In an informal meeting with the Finance Minister, Gurudas Dasgupta is said to have enticed the former with the calculation that even a nominal cess would fetch the government a whopping Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 crore annually. If indeed what he said is true, then this money ought to be spent by the temples on renovating other temples in the country which are in bad shape. Thousands of temples have been demolished in Kashmir. Why should the government that lets looters and defaulters go scot free steal the money offered as an expression of faith for augmenting its income? For long, communists in Kerala used to say that temples should be taken over for tapioca cultivation.

In the name of land reform and redistribution of land, the communists have already taken away the land belonging to temples, mutts and other religious institutions. The government contributes next to nothing in maintaining the civic amenities and facilities at famous temple-towns. Almost all the big temples that commies are eyeing solely depend on their income to run their day-to-day affairs. In Andhra, Tirupati temple funds are taken for development expense by the state government.

A government that is willing and eager to enhance Haj subsidy and relax conditions for getting subsidies has no business to charge cess from one section of the people, only because they happen to be the majority community.

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