Tamil Nadu Minister PK Sekar Babu had chaired a meeting on Tuesday in which he ordered that arrangements be made.

Temple gopuram nestled in between branches of a treeImage for representation
news Religion Friday, May 21, 2021 - 09:50

The Tamil Nadu government has decided to disclose the details of administration of temples online. Tamil Nadu’s HR&CE minister PK Sekar Babu had chaired a meeting on Tuesday in which he ordered that arrangements be made to display exhaustive information regarding the temples under the department’s control and its assets, online for public viewing. According to reports, the HR&CE department controls over 36,000 temples across Tamil Nadu including big and famous temples like the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple and Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar temple.

Following the announcement, Isha Foundation's Jaggi Vasudev welcomed the move. Jaggi Vasudev has been consistent in demanding that the temples in the state be ‘freed’ from the control of the Hindu Religion and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department. In a tweet, Jaggi Vasudev termed the move ‘historic’ and lauded the government for its effort. “We appreciate your swift action, responding to citizens’ calls. Transparency is the first step towards good governance,” he added.  Jaggi Vasudev has been at the forefront of the demand to free Tamil Nadu temples from the control of the state government. Through the hashtag #freeTNTemples, several celebrities led by him, sought that the temples must be controlled and administered by a board consisting of learned Hindu scholars and godpersons.

Recently, he also filed a PIL at the Madras High Court seeking an external audit of temples in Tamil Nadu. The aim of the audit would be to ascertain the condition of all the structures of the temples, its properties, assets, status of possession and occupation of temples, rent income and the temples’ liabilities etc.  In his petition, he demanded that a commission be set up to examine the handing over of holy shrines to the community. He added that he was approaching the court because his letters on the same to the state government had not fetched him any response.

Jaggi Vasudev was in the news recently after Tamil Nadu's Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan called him a 'commercial operator' and a 'publicity hound' and emphasised that he is a violator of law, in an interview with The Hindu. In response, Isha Foundation volunteers condemned the allegation and said that it is unbecoming of an elected representative.


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