Hindutva-RSS Plot Foiled by RTI Query.
Kerala: Response to RTI query from the Devaswom Board has yet again proved wrong the Hindutva propaganda regarding temple assets in Kerala.
The Saffron elements like RSS in Kerala since decades have been carrying out widespread campaigns that the assets of the Devaswomv Board [a socio-religious trust with government or community nominated members as trustees to manage
Hindu temples] is filling the government treasury and that this income is being utilised for other purposes.
However, responses to RTI reveal that on the contrary it’s the temple trust that receives money to the tune of eighty lakhs annually from the government !!
Sanghparivar leaders have reiterated these claims over and over again without any hesitation in any of their public meetings or programmes and they have been making use of media and online platforms as well to ensure credibility to these claims. They even ran a campaign in the name ‘wake up Hindu, wake up,’ to give an impression to the Hindu community members that they are being cheated and exploited by the state administration.
In order to add spice to their arguments they went on to say that, Muslims and Christians have escaped such exploitation because they have organised, influential political powers to represent them in the state political arena – the twist in the campaign was of course out of the hope that, it could help out the Hindutva prospects in Temple committee’s and Kerala politics.
The Saffron elements are found baselessly alleging that the mosques and churches receive financial aides and supports from the Government whereas Hindu temples do not receive any fund.
It was in order to tackle these baseless campaigns a few organisations like CPI brought forward several evidences in the form of the balance sheet of Guruvayur Devaswom board, Kerala budget to expose the truths behind this Hindutva propaganda
It was since then an RTI query was filed by KC Udayakumar before the Travancore Devaswom Board addressing these controversial questions in specific. The reply given by the board Public Information officer is quite capable of dismantling the age old saffron agendas. A few of the questions posed and information availed are as follows:
Q 1. How many temples are there under the Travancore Devaswom Board?
Reply: 1106 temples.
Q 2. Is it the Travancore Devaswom Board, which receive income from all temples managed under it?
Q 3. Does govt receive any income derived out of Hindu Temples that come under Travancore Devaswom Board?
Q 4. Does government receive any income from the Sabarimala Temple, who receives it?
R: No, Board receives.
Q 5. If government is the one receiving, how much percentage?
R: The question has no relevance.
Q 6. Does the Devaswom Board receive any financial aid from the Government? If true how much?
R: Yes, 80 Lakh Rupees per annum.
[Image Courtsey: Binoy Prabhakaran]