ANOTHER aspect of the secular governments-central as well as state governments-led by the Congress Party or Communist Party, they are bent upon hurting the religious sentiments of majority Hindu community only, while carefully avoiding to do similar things which are likely to hurt the religious feelings of the organised Muslim or Christian community. In short, they deliberately show discrimination in dealing with Hindu community and minority communities in the case of their religious affairs. Even in the case of building any new Hindu temple or renovating the dilapidated old Hindu temples, the government do not generally offer any sort of material help in the form of land grant or financial assistance while they are liberally extended to construct mosques or churches in the country.
As far as the Devaswom Boards are concerned, they had never built any new Hindu Temple during the last fifty years or more from their own funds. Even in the case of renovation of old temples under the Board, major part of the expenses are met from Hindu devotees. Precisely under the above background, it is not surprising that only less than 30 Hindu temples ‘could be constructed including those renovated, compared to over 3000 mosques and churches erected by the pampered minority Muslim and Christian communities during the same period in Kerala alone. If the ownership and management of Hindu temples were with Hindu community, they would have built many new Hindu temples besides renovating all the dilapidated old Hindu temples and also helped rejuvenation of Hinduism in the state (and also in the country), as in the case of Sikh community which also was discriminated in India for a long time, especially in the case of management and control of the Gurudwaras.
The secular government also do not care to provide sufficient amenities to Hindu pilgrims, travelling to various pilgrimage centre like Kashi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Somnath, Triveni, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Tirupathi and Srikrishna Temple at Guruvayoor and the famous Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala. In Sabarimala temple situated at the hilltop in Kerala over three crore Hindu devotees assemble to worship Dharma Sastha during the holy season every year. Still the government the statutory Travancore Devaswom Board has not been making any proper arrangements for sufficient transport facilities, food arrangements, convenient halting places, sufficient drinking water, bathing facilities and adequate number of toilets. Similar is the experience of Hindu pilgrims where ever they go on a pilgrimage in India where also the local secular government are concerned only about the collection of revenues but not providing facilities and amenities for the Hindu Pilgrims.
But the secular governments both at the Center and State level are very particular and practical in providing more than sufficient facilities for the minority community members going on their pilgrimages in India and abroad Viz Mecca in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem in Israel or Vatican. For the sake of just about a few lakhs of Muslims going on Haj Pilgrimage to Mecca, the secular government is constructing or encouraging Muslim trust to construct Haj Houses in important halting places of Muslim pilgrims of India. The secular government is also liberally granting sufficient government land and also financial assistance for the constructon of Haj Houses in many halting places in the country. Besides Muslims are provided with a huge amount of subsidies for making arrangements for their proper air travel to Mecca, and for railway transport in India, besides medical facilities and accommodation even in Mecca. Mind you according Islamic belief and traditions, Muslims are expected to save sufficient amount for their once-in lifetime Haj pilgrimage. Because of this, even the rich Islamic countries do not finance or subsidise their Haj pilgrimage. But in the secular India, these short-sighted political parties, provide minority Muslim community more facilities and subsidies for their Haj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia even out of the way and also against the very practices of Islamic countries and secular commitment of the government. Compare this with the deliberate neglect in providing any amenities to crores of Hindu devotees going on their regular or occasional pilgrimages to the holy temples and sacred places even in India. This discrimination in the case of pilgrimages of majority Hindu community and minority Muslims or Christian community is simply atrocious and only breeding and promoting religious disputes and hatred between the majority community and minority communities. This is a very dangerous trend and also explosive.
When this blatant religious discrimination against the majority Hindu community challenged in the Allahabad High Court, it asked the Central Government to immediately stop the subsidy and other government assistance given to Muslims for performing the Haj pilgrimage specifically stating that this administrative action of secular democratic government is violative of the relevant provision of Indian constitution.
It is in this context and growing animocillies between Hindu community and minority Muslim and Christian communities, we seek rational and judicial consideration of the above cited examples of blatant violating of the highly acclaimed Indian Constitution which govern the modern democratic secular socialist republic to give an unequivocal judgment about the functioning of the present government of Kerala.
Also we seek sagacious judgment and appropriate direction to the secular government of Kerala whether according the secular principles embodied in the Constitution, the secular government should be constitutionally allowed to indulge and interfere in the purely religious affairs of any Indian community in Kerala. If so, why the same government of Kerala should not take over all the religious institutions of all religious community also, and why openly interfere in their religious affairs as in case of majority communities temples only and related matters by creating another as a matter of fact, the secular government should have created separate Statutory Minority Religions Board for controlling and managing Mosque, Churches and their related religious matter as in the case of Hindu community?
If not, whether the Kerala government is constitutionally justified to interfere or manage the religious affairs of Hindu community as now. The government of Kerala should be directed to immediately hand over the ownership, management and control of Hindu temples and related religious and financial matter back to Hindu community and also direct the executive to dismiss or dismantle or wind-up the existing statutory Devaswom Boards in the state including Guruvayoor temple committee and Malabar Endowment Board.
It is the considered view of the senior citizens of the country especially the majority Hindu community, that the preamble, basic structure and highly praised provisions of Indian Constitutions are a guide and reminder to the well-established and independent Judiciary of the country as per the expert view of the founding father of the Constitution. As it is, some of judicial judgment and constitutional interpretation by different high courts and some time that of the Hon’ble Supreme Court itself make us believe that they consider the highly-praised provisions of Indian Constitution framed by legal luminaries, experienced expertise in different fields and visionary statesmen of the country, are only mere platitudes and not serious matters. The independent judiciary is the watchdog of Indian Constitution and also concerned authority to properly interpret various constitutional provisions for the benefit and understanding of not only the executive but also for the sake of senior citizens of the country. But it is left to the only credible constitutional authority-Judiciary-to judge and decide whether the continuing interference with the religious affairs of Hindu Community by the present secular government is volatile of secular of Constitution of India. If the apex judicial authority considers, the provisions of Indian Constitution are not to be ignored as mere platitudes of the founding fathers but are serious matters and guide for proper judicious and rational analysis before arriving at appropriate judgment. The majority community seeks the opinion of the apex court whether Constitution has to be strictly applied only to and binding only on majority community and not binding on minority community whether they are bound by separate laws or/and not bound by the constitutional provisions even if they are Indian citizens. Because of this non-application of Indian Constitution to the minority communities, they object of the singing of National Song, salutation to the National Flag, Common Civil Code, child marriage, bigamy, oral divorce, and alimony and related matters which are sacred and strictly implemented or enforced in any progressive country except in purely Islamic. In other words when there is a serious dispute and conflict between the separate religious laws for minority communities, whether the latter is superior to the former in this secular Indian context. Unfortunately the latter is considered as a superior to the former. In short minority rights are more sacred and superior to those of majority Hindu Community and hence provision of the Constitution are only mere platitudes of Founding Fathers.
(The writer is a former Director of RBI, Mumbai, Address: Aswathy, Thammanam, Kochi-32)