- RTI filed by Girish Bharadwaj reveals 7 Minority employees work in Hindu Endowments department; flouting Section:7 of The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.
- Such officials hold key decision making positions such as budgeting, accounting & finance, establishment etc.
- RTI reply itself is contradictory it says Hindus are barred from working; then, gives the list of Non-Hindus working in the department
An RTI filed by Hindu activist Girish Bharadwaj has revealed that seven employees of Karnataka Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department are working in the department, clearly violating
Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.
Section: 7 (Chapter-II) of The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act,1997 clearly says that: “The Commissioner and every Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner and every other Officer or servant, appointed to carry out the purposes of this Act by whomsoever appointed, shall be a person professing Hindu Religion, and shall cease to hold office as such when he ceases to profess that profession”
Girish, who is relentlessly working for upholding the rights of Hindus, had filed the RTI application with the following queries:
1] Is Endowments Department developing or helping any Christian or Muslim Minority Institutions?
2] Are Minorities being benefited by any programs of Hindu Endowments Department?
3] Does this department have any Minority Employee?
4] Can a Minority be nominated to Muzrai board?
The replies to the above queries filed under RTI (Satyavijayi has copies of the same) have been given by the Public Relations Officer and Office Assistant which says:
1] Christians or Muslim Minority Institutions are not getting support, except under the Aradhana Project which has been extended to the Minorities.
2] The Minorities are not being benefitted in any way from the department, except under the Aradhana Project
3] Under Section 7 of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act: Non-Hindus are barred from working in this department.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST AS MINORITY EMPLOYEES HOLD KEY PORTFOLIOS
The Minority employees are holding key portfolios such as budget allotment, accounts, finance and establishment which form the core (decision making) departments. Although, the department has said that these employees are working before the Act came into existence, these employees should have been either transferred to other departments as per Section:7 of the Act.
Moreover, such employees are given key portfolios such as budget allotment, accounts & finance, establishment etc., arising a ‘conflict of interest’ situation. There could be a scenario to divert huge funds to minority institutions by such ‘vested interests’ in the department under the Aradhana Yojana. While Hindu priests in Muzrai managed temples are getting a meagre pay of Rs.3, 000/- per month; the department has been maintaining a stoic silence and not transferred these officials, violating the act.
CONTRADICTORY REPLY IN THE RTI
The RTI reply itself clearly says that Section:7 clearly bars not only non-Hindu employees from working in the department, but also those Hindus who have converted to other religion should demit office and the officials concerned should ensure that such employee is not working in the department; however, in the same RTI the names of such minority employees have been divulged, showing the contradictory nature in which the department is functioning.
DEPARTMENT OF HINDUS OR DEPARTMENT OF MINORITIES?
While there are many issues from paltry salary being paid to priests managed by Muzrai department and lack of any social welfare; medical schemes to assist the priests, it continues to employ Non-Hindus violating provisions of the Act blatantly. The department has clearly misplaced its priorities in using the huge donations recieved by the Temples and diverting it to Minority Religious places for its upliftment, renovation, and beautification etc; it has failed to take note of the loopholes in the department.
Speaking to Satyavijayi, Girish said “Despite knowing the fact that these employees (Non Hindus) are working in the Hindu
We hope Shri Rudrappa Lamani, Hon’ble Minister for Muzarai takes note of the discrepancies in his department, transfers Non-Hindu officials working in his department and takes disciplinary action against those senior officials who have maintained a ‘stoic’ silence despite conversant to the fact that Non-Hindus are barred from working in this department.