Here is what Dr Mohan Bhagwat said about ‘Hindu temples’ in his Vijayadashami address

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat on Friday said that temples of South India are fully controlled by the state governments and the operating rights of Hindu temples be handed over to the Hindu devotees. He also said that the wealth of the Hindu temples should be utilised for the worship of the deities and the welfare of the Hindu community only. 

“Besides the internal and external threats to the nation’s unity, integrity, security, development, prosperity and peace there are some concerns of the Hindu society; efforts to resolve the same is also a necessity. State of the Hindu temples today is one such concern. Temples of South India are fully controlled by the state governments. In the rest of the country some are managed by the government, a few through joint family trusts while some are run by the trusts governed under society’s registration acts. Few temples completely lack any system of governance. Instances of misappropriation of movable and immovable properties of temples have come to light,” said Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat.

“Specific ceremonial guidelines and guiding texts apply to each temple and the deity residing therein. Instances of interference and meddling with those ceremonial matters have also been reported. A non-discriminatory ease of access and opportunity for seeing, worshipping God’s shrine, to all devotees irrespective of caste and creed is also not practised everywhere; this should be ensured. It is apparent for all that many decisions regarding the religious code of conduct of the temples are whimsically made without any consultation with the scholars and spiritual teachers and with indifference towards the sensitivities of the Hindu community,” he said.

“The injustices such as the exclusive appropriation of Hindu religious sites for decades and centuries, handing over of the operations to the non-devotees/irreligious, unethical heretics despite the State being ‘secular’ must be expunged. It is also necessary and only reasonable that the operating rights of Hindu temples be handed over to the Hindu devotees and the wealth of the Hindu temples is utilised for the worship of the deities and the welfare of the Hindu community only. Alongside this thought, it is also necessary to devise a scheme to once again make temples the epicentre of our social-cultural life while ensuring appropriate management and operation of the temples based on the strength of the Hindu society,” the Sarsanghchalak added.

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