Karnataka chief minister made the remark on Wednesday (December 29) and said his government would bring the bill in the next budget session of the assembly.
In a big announcement on Wednesday (December 29), Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that his government would bring a law in the forthcoming budget session of the assembly to free the temples in Karnataka from government control.
“Currently, Hindu temples in the state are under different types of control bylaws and rules. Temples that have suffered in the hands of bureaucrats will be freed by our government. We will bring a law which will give rights to the temple management to look after their own development”, Chief Minister Bommai said.
He added that it was an ideological commitment.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad has been running a movement to free temples in the country from government control.
In its three-day meeting of the Central Board of Trustees and Governing Council which concluded on December 26 in Gujarat’s Junagad, the VHP passed a resolution to continue the movement to free the temples in the country from government control.
In the present scheme of things, places of worship of other religions are free from government control but temples across the country are controlled by the government.
As reported by the Organiser, in February this year, spiritual leader and Isha Foundation head Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev had made an impassioned appeal to the Tamil Nadu government to free the temples from government control, arguing the temples must be run by the Hindu community.
From time to time many High Courts have prodded the respective state governments to take decisions to this effect but to no avail.
In a case of land encroachment of temples in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court had noted in November last year “…the HR&CE Department, which is the custodian of the temple properties, has not taken any steps to protect the interests of temples, though the subject falls within its purview. Such a callous attitude on their part cannot be countenanced.”
In November this year, the Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had announced that his government would repeal the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, 2019, thereby freeing the temples from government control.
“Considering the sentiments and interests of people, honour of priests and stakeholders and others associated with Char Dham and on the basis of the report of a high-level committee constituted under Manohar Kant Dhyani, the government has decided to repeal Devasthanam Board Act”, Chief Minister Dhami had said.
In the meeting of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal in Haridwar earlier this year, the Sant Samaj had repeatedly demanded the then CM Tirath Singh Rawat, who was present at the meeting, to immediately abolish the board.
The announcement by Chief Minister Bommai had come soon after the Karnataka Legislative Assembly passed the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly referred to as the anti-conversion Bill. The Bill, which is pending approval from the Legislative Council, aims to check the unlawful conversion in the state.