Officials Misinterpret Minister’s Circular; Target Hindu Temples To Collect Funds For Chief Minister Relief Fund In Karnataka

This year during August, the Muzrai department in Karnataka ‘directed’ through a government order, that 81 select temples coming under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act in Karnataka to contribute a total of Rs 12.3 crore for the Chief Minister’s relief fund.

Some of the famous temples including Kukke Subramanyaswamy Temple, Durga Parameshwari Temple and other temples were targeted by the Karnataka State Government. The mandatory sum arrived to collect funds from such temples was Rs.12.3 crores by the Government.

Now, a RTI filed by Trustee of Bharatha Punarutthana Trust, Shri Girish Bharadwaj has found that the order of the Minister has been completely misinterpreted by the officials who have passed wrong orders. Incidentally, neither the Minister nor the Chief Secretary has quizzed the erring officials in this regard.

Speaking to SatyaVijayi Girish Bharadwaj – Trustee of Bharatha Punarutthana Trust said “We will challenge this legally and ensure the bureaucrats who passed this order are punished”. he said.

What does the circular from the Minister Say?

The RTI reply recieved from the office of the Minister of Muzarai and Mines & Geology Shri Rajashekar Patil which has directed the Principal Secretary of Revenue saying:

“Due to the incessant and heavy rain in Coastal and Malnad region, there have been extensive losses. Some of the places have been inundated. Several people have lost their lives and many others have been severely affected as the road network has been cut off completely. Keeping in mind of this catastrophe several NGO’s and the general public have been donating in cash and kind to help the people in distress. To collect such donations from the public and donate them to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund –  it is being contemplated that the Hindu Religious and Endowments department start separate counters in important temples to ensure donations from the devotees are being collected in a transparent manner. In this regard, the process of starting counters in certain important temples is fast tracked. In continuation of the above subject, i also request the management of such temples to donate for the worst ever catastrophe that has struck Karnataka in recent times. “

The file moved faster than light from the case worker to the Under Secretary; Deputy Secretary; Principal Secretary and the Minister Personal Secretary and to the Minister for signature and back with the Government order on the same day. Amidst dusting files of various issues; such rapid movement of the circular raises the suspicion of foul play in the bureaucracy.

The letter nowhere says a certain amount has to be collected by Temples. So, why did the officials arrive at the figure of 12.3 crores specifically? Is this not gross violation of government service rules?

Why did the Principal Secretary (Revenue) not initiate any action, after the officials started the drive of collecting money from temples?

Why target only temples when the money can be spent on stakeholders e.g: Archakas of temples who are surviving on meager pay and san any benefits as given to minorities?

Will the Chief Minister who visits temples very often; an ardent believer and believer of Sanathana Dharma order an inquiry and punish the errant officials?

Will the BJP which is the opposition party raise this issue during the ongoing session in Belagavi?

– What was the urgency in seeing the file through the same day, moving across from the clerical level till the Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Minister for Muzarai?

Hon’ble Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and Minister for Muzarai Shri Rajashekar Patil should be accountable and owe an explanation to Hindus.