Bengaluru: Minister for Muzrai (Hindu religious endowment) Shashikala Jolle on Thursday said the government is still studying the proposal to free Hindu temples from state control.
A delegation of priests met the Minister today and gave her a memorandum urging the government to drop the idea of freeing Hindu temples.
”We are still studying on freeing temples, we are trying to understand about the situation in other states and how they are doing. I have also discussed with the Chief Minister,” Jolle said.
Speaking to reporters here, she said priests have already held discussions with her two-three times in this regard.
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Stating that she along with the Chief Minister are in favour of the priests, the Minister said ”they have also asked for increase in tasdik (compensation for land vested with the government). It is a rightful demand, we have prepared a proposal in this regard and I will discuss with CM on this very soon.” Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in December had said that the Karnataka government will bring in a law aimed at freeing Hindu temples from laws and rules that control them at present.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with the Minister, priests said if the government brings in the proposed law to free temples from the state control, it will cause more harm to the temples.
”Kings had given land to temples, if they are freed now it will be difficult. There are properties worth lakhs of crores (of rupees), who will protect them? If they form a trust, will they take care of it? It will lead to lots of problems, so our opinion is that this should not be done,” a priest, who was a member of the delegation, said.
A total of 34,563 temples in the state come under Muzrai department, and they have been categorized as grade A, B and C, based on their revenue generation.
A total of 207 temples with annual revenue above Rs 25 lakh come under category A, 139 temples between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh come under category B, and 34,217 temples with less than Rs 5 lakh annual revenue under category C.