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Should the tax payers money be used for funding religion in a Secular country ?

State Funds For Hindu Temples by the BJP run Government in Karnataka State in India

12 September 2010

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Mangalorean, 8 August 2010

Karnataka doubles temple grants

By Team Mangalorean Bangalore

BANGALORE, August 2, 2010: In an attempt to fill the agenda set by the ruling BJP, Karnataka’s Home Minister V S Acharya, who also holds the Religious Endowment portfolio, said the government increased annual grants (tastik) to 3,600 temples in the State from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 12,000 to enable priests meet daily pooja expenses.

The increase in the grants would cost Rs. 58 crore to the State exchequer a year. Action would be taken against all those who found misuse of temple grants, he warned. The hike would enable temples to utilize the money and offer poojas to devotees in rural Karnataka. Many temples are not rich and they need to be supported by the government, he said.


The Times of India

BSY doles out public funds to temples outside K’taka

Anil Kumar M, TNN, Sep 12, 2010

BANGALORE: Whatever else he is known for or not, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa will be famous for generously donating money to temples outside Karnataka. Yeddyurappa, during his visit to a temple in Karaikal near Puducherry last week, announced he would donate Rs 40 lakh. The Karnataka CM has already donated to the tune of more than Rs 15 crore to cash-rich temples in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. There’s only one hitch: these donations are made from public money.

Documents accessed by TOI from the Muzrai (religious endowment) department reveal that Rs 10 crore has been given from the state exchequer to Sri Raghavendra Mutt in Mantralaya in Andhra Pradesh, and Rs 2 crore has been donated to Sri Jagadguru Panditharadya Seva Samiti in Kurnool district in the same state. Other temples to benefit from Yeddyurappa’s largesse are Aralmigu Sri Devanathaswamy Lakshmihayagriva temple in Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu (Rs 1 crore) and Sri Kalikamba temple in Kerala, which received Rs 2.70 lakh.

The ruling BJP government’s penchant for religious institutions is so deep that the CM handed over a government-run temple in Gokarna to the Ramachandrapur Mutt. Financial assistance to cash-rich religious organizations find prominent mention in the budgets Yeddyurappa has presented so far.

In the recent budget, he has earmarked Rs 10 crore for the works of the Kaginele Development Authority and Rs 5 crore for completing the works of Shravanabelagola Bahubali Temple complex. Another Rs 5 crore has been provided to complete works under the jurisdiction of Kudalasangama Development Authority, and yet another Rs 5 crore for balance works of the Basava Kalyana Development Authority.

In another Rs 5-crore dole, the budget facilitates development of infrastructure at Adichunchanagiri Kshethra in Nagamangala taluk. Nearly Rs 10 crore has been earmarked for the development works of Yediyur Siddalingeshwara Kshethra near Tumkur.

Financial assistance to Mansarovar pilgrims has been enhanced to Rs 3 crore and Rs 2 crore has been provided for the development of Dattatreya peetha of Devalagangapura in Gulbarga district. An amount of Rs 3 crore will be provided for the development of Someshwar Kshethra at Rambhapuri in Chikmagalur district, while Rs 1 crore will be given for the development of Hariharpura Kshethra in the same district.