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Cong-led Karnataka government targets temples with a controversial bill

Thursday, February 22, 2024 • Telugu Comments
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The Karnataka government's recent passage of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment bill has sparked controversy, with the BJP accusing the Congress-led government of "anti-Hindu policies" and misuse of funds.

The bill mandates that the government will collect 10 percent of the income of temples that have revenue of more than Rs 1 crore, and 5 percent from those with revenues ranging between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore. The BJP has alleged that the state government is targeting Hindu temples and that the collected funds will be used for other purposes, rather than for the benefit of the temples themselves.

BJP's Karnataka unit president Vijayendra Yediyurappa questioned why the state government was only collecting revenue from Hindu temples and not other religious structures. He also expressed concern that the funds would be misused.Karnataka's transport minister and Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy dismissed the BJP's accusations, saying that the government is not taking the money, but rather using it for "dharmic parishad" purposes, such as the upliftment of economically weaker priests and the provision of quality education to children of priests.

Reddy also accused the BJP of bringing religion into politics and claimed that the Congress is the true proponent of Hinduism, pointing to the party's record of safeguarding temples and Hindu interests over the years. The controversy highlights the ongoing debate in India over the role of the government in religious affairs. Some argue that the government should not interfere in religious matters, while others believe that the government has a responsibility to ensure that religious institutions are managed properly and that funds are used appropriately.

The Karnataka government's decision to collect revenue from Hindu temples is likely to face legal challenges, as some argue that it violates the constitutional right to freedom of religion. The outcome of these challenges will have implications for the relationship between the government and religious institutions in India.

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