THE GOVERNMENT has appointed a three-member committee to listen to all objections and suggestions regarding the bill to take over the administration of temples. The committee, headed by former chief secretary TP Tiwari, will make its recommendation for necessary amendments to the bill that was prepared by a panel under the chairmanship of Agriculture Minister Ashok Bajpai.
The decision to form the three-member committee came in the wake of sharp reaction from various Hindu organisations, to the bill.
The two other members of the committee are former Vidhan Sabha secretary Bhal Chandra Shukla and president of the Shankat Mochan Temple, Varanasi, Veer Bhadra Mishra. No time frame has been fixed for the committee.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, Bajpai said here on Thursday that the Government did not want to do anything in a hurry, as it might hurt the religious sentiments of any section of the society. Every opportunity would be given to one and all to record their views as the issue was very sensitive and had to be tackled carefully.
While he said that the Government would not do anything without taking Hindu religious leaders into confidence, he underlined the need for a uniform law for proper management of various temples, mutts and other places of worship of Hindus. Such places of worship were ill-managed and misappropriation of funds worth crores was a regular feature, he added.
The high-powered committee headed by Bajpai had prepared a draft bill to take over administrative control, including management and finances, of Hindu places of worship.
This was opposed by Hindu bodies, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal, the RSS and a large number of saints and sadhus.