Should secular state management Hindu temples?


BY Satya Prakash

The Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the Shebait rights of the Travancore royal household within the administration of Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala has been welcomed by many because it limits the state’s position in management and administration of a distinguished Hindu temple.

Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple made headlines in 2011 after a court-appointed panel discovered jewelry, idols, weapons, utensils, cash and different gadgets value Rs one lakh crore in 5 of its vaults. But the mysterious vault-B (Kallara B) — believed to be protected by cobras — wasn’t opened. It was vault-B that generated wider public curiosity within the case because of the extensively held perception that it doesn’t augur properly for many who dare open it.

A Bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra left it to the discretion of the advisory committee and administrative committee — set as much as oversee the temple’s administration — to contemplate whether or not Kallara B is to be opened for the aim of inventorisation.

But the decision doesn’t deal with the core problem of presidency management of Hindu temples alone in a secular state. Should a secular state management a spiritual establishment? If sure, then why ought to it management solely Hindu temples?

Articles 25 and 26 collectively present a constitutional framework to take care of the connection between faith and state. Article 25 — which ensures elementary proper to faith — authorises the state to make legal guidelines to control or limit financial, monetary, political or different secular actions related to spiritual practices as additionally for social welfare and reform. Article 26 confers on each spiritual denomination or any part thereof a elementary proper to its spiritual affairs.

Even if one presumes that there’s mismanagement of a selected temple, can the state be allowed to take over the temple administration completely?

Secularism is all about separating the state from faith. While some European international locations are constitutionally Christian in nature, India, a declared secular state, controls Hindu spiritual establishments. This contradiction must be resolved because it goes towards the concept of secularism, which has been declared a primary characteristic of the Indian Constitution.



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