Petition to save desperate status of Hindu temples in Andhra Pradesh
- From: hitaya@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: 4 Feb 2007 13:32:15 -0800
Please sign petition for desperate Status of Hindu Temples in Andhra
The Hindu religion and its supporting infrastructure (temple lands,
mutts, foundations and Ashrams) that preserve and promote our treasure
religion are being unfairly targeted by the current political
environment in India. The result is Hindu temple lands and properties
are being sold and a substantial amount of resources are being used
for purposes other than Hindu temple activities, including the funding
of non-Hindu (Muslim and Christian) projects and activities.
Encroachment of the temple lands, mutts, foundations and Ashrams is
encouraged by the current political environment and are being taken
over. Non Hindus have been given major positions at Tirupathi and
other temples. All of these activities are wide spread and will
ultimately drive Hinduism out of India if not worse. It looks as
though the Christian Chief Minister Y. Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy of
Andhra Pradesh has little regard to Hindu institutions.
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act which originally had
its merit is one main issue causing this situation. Through this
Endowment Act only Hindu Temples are taken over by the government
which allowed complete control over the temples. All appointments,
property, finances, renovations, pujas etc. are monitored and
controlled. Mosques and churches are free from government control and
are not included in the Endowment Act.
Through the Endowment Act the state governments quickly utilizing
their control for personal and political gain. Below are some hard
facts of the injustices being executed by state government? None,
even the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD) is being spared. Here
are synopses of the kind of events that are taking place.
1) In 2006, government attempted to take over 5 out of 7 Tirumala
Hills of 650 year old Tirumala temple for Church and Tourism
2) In March 2006, government demolished the 1000 pillar mantapam at
3) The charge that 85% percent of revenues from TTD be transferred to
state exchequer was not denied by the state government.
4) On January 21, 2007, Chief Minister announced the sponsorship of
Hockey Tournment on his parents name by using TTD money.
5) TTD has to contribute Rs. 2.2 crores annually to common good fund.
6) JRG Wealth Management Limited, a Christian organization, was given
the contract to procure "Prasadam" materials for TTD.
7) All the Hindu temples must contribute 15% of the income per year to
the Endowment Department. Of all the funds collected over the past few
decades except in the year 1995-96, only a partial amount of money
collected for this purpose was used for the maintenance of the
Temples. This money is used for running the 70,000 strong State
8) There are 420,028 acres owned by Temples in Vishakhapatnam,
Kakinada, Guntur, Kurnool, Warangal and Hyderabad. Of that amount,
60,843 acres were allowed to be occupied illegally. Currently, 2,349
acres are in litigation. Most of these lands were occupied by the
professional land grabbers, not by the poor dalits. One of the
responsibilities under the Endowment act is to prevent such actions.
With a staff of over 70,000 there seems to a lack of initiative to
take real steps to prevent these actions.
9) In August 2005, state government has decided to sell 100,000 acres
of Sri Narasimha Swamy Temple in Simhachalam and other nearby
10) On March 14, 2006, government auctioned 3,000 acres of Temple
lands in East Godavari District.
11) Temples with more than Rs. 50,000 income have to contribute three
percent to common good fund.
12) On November 23, 2005, the government decided to take complete
control of Hindu mutts such as Hathiramji of Tirupati, Raghavendra
Swamy mutt in Mantralayam, Byragi mutt of West Godavri District, Gavi
mutt in Ananthapur and others whose assets are worth crores of
On the contrary, Government is treating Christian and Muslim minority
religious establishments totally differently.
1) The government allocates Rs 1.1 crore to Churches for their repairs
2) The government allocates Rs. 6.5 crores to the Mosques for their
repairs and renovations
3) On August 22, 2006 the State government announced GO 21
· This allocated Rs. 80,000 for each church for it's repairs and
· Rs. 1.5 crores for constructing a new church.
It is not publicly disclosed how many churches benefits and ultimately
no public way of understanding how many crores were are set aside for
4) On December 18, 2006, the state government announced that it is
considering giving subsidy for Christians to travel to Bethlehem
These are only few examples of the state government's effort to
undermine the existence and integrity of the Hindu Temples in Andhra
Pradesh while giving preferential treatment to the other religions.
Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act is the one that allows
the state government to have total control over the Temple lands and
revenues. It is high time that all the Hindus take a stand to repeal
the Endowment Act to make Hindu temple independent of government
control and gain the same privileges and rights other religious
organizations are enjoying.
Recently we formed a Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) to
protect, preserve, promote, and maintain Hindu culture, Hindu temples,
mutts, peethams, endowments, Trusts and other institutions globally.
To achieve this objective, GHHF will take the necessary and
appropriate non-violent actions against all laws, policies, activities
undertaken by any government, individuals and/or any organizations
that adversely affect the Hindu religion, Hindu Temples and other
The ultimate goal is to ensure all the Hindu Temples and other Hindu
institutions become independent of state government control. GHHF is
currently taking steps to challenge the Endowment Act in the High
Court and Supreme Court. To this end, GHHF established an organization
in the name of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti in Hyderabad on
December 8, 2006. We successfully got stay order for Temple land
auctioning in May 2006 and for GO 21 this month.
The online petition can be signed at http://www.petitiononline.com/
If you need any further information on this matter or any
documentation for the above cited examples, we will be happy to
provide. Please contact:
V. V. Prakasa Rao
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation USA