Temples: “34,000 in TN are managed by just one person who gets less money than under MGNREGA”
“Free Tamil Nadu Temples” is a campaign which Sadhguru has begun. This was after the state government presented a report in the Madras High Court on the sorry state of temples in the state.
It was reported in 2020, Sadhguru said, that no puja was performed in 11,999 temples as they didn’t have revenue, while 37,000 out of 44,000 temples have less than Rs 10,000 income.
Further, Sadhguru said that 34,000 temples are managed by only one person and his salary is less than the minimum wages given under MGNREGA.
Sadhguru said it was a systematic running down of the entire culture.
Sadhguru, through his campaign, wants temples of Tamil Nadu to be free of government control. They could be run independently while having periodic external audits etc. He feels it would have a domino effect across the country.
Sadhguru was speaking to Arnab Goswami on Republic TV and the question came up of the government control over temples.
“You mean to say Hindus are so corrupt they can’t manage their own temples,” was the question Sadhguru posed to Arnab Goswami in a televised interaction on Monday.
Arnab wanted to know why Hindu temples are still under government control while it’s not the case with other religions and what Sadhguru, as founder of Isha Foundation, and concerned with freeing temples of Tamil Nadu, feels on the matter.
"You ask how will you prevent corruption? So essentially you are saying is 87% of the population which belongs to this (Hindu) community, you believe that all of them are corrupt? You won't find a handful of people with the needed integrity and competence to manage the temples? When all other religions - Islam, Christianity, Sikhs, Jains everybody can manage their religious institutions, only Hindus are so corrupt that they cannot manage their temples?" Sadhguru said.
"Everybody says if you free temples from government, it will go into the hands of brahmins, they will again exploit you. So let us understand the structure of the society. In this society, different duties were assigned to different people, which over a period of time became a caste system. So when it comes to brahmins - education, knowledge-keeping, temples, spirituality was entrusted to them. They did become corrupt, exploitative and discriminatory to a point it became apartheid and untouchability were bred out of it. But today we have laws in the country that you cannot practice such things. These things happened when there were no such laws. Today we have clear laws that all citizens are equal.”
Sadhguru also cited an example of Indian Army where any citizen, irrespective of caste, creed or religion could join the army. All he needs is skills and willingness.
"Same goes for the temples, if you have the devotion for the temple and the deity, skill can be given to you. Right now there are people (from government managing the temples) who do not have devotion for the deity, it's just a job for them. How can you keep a temple alive when there is no devotee," Sadhguru said.
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