Hindu minister to be chairperson in case of Muslim CM: Char Dham proposal

Updated on Nov 28, 2019 05:42 AM IST
The state government plans to enact the Chardham Shrine Management Board Act 2019 to oversee the management of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Kedarnath temple covered in a sheet of snow, Nov 27, 2019. The Uttarakhand cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to manage the Char Dham,or four holy Hindu abodes in the state.(ANI)
Kedarnath temple covered in a sheet of snow, Nov 27, 2019. The Uttarakhand cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to manage the Char Dham,or four holy Hindu abodes in the state.(ANI)
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | By

The Uttarakhand cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to manage the Char Dham,or four holy Hindu abodes in the state, and 51 other temples on the lines of the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir and Tirupati Balaji shrine in Andhra Pradesh.

The state government plans to enact the Chardham Shrine Management Board Act 2019 to oversee the management of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

State urban development minister and spokesperson for the state government Madan Kaushik said on Wednesday that the proposed law would provide for a Hindu cabinet minister to be the chairperson of the shrine board in case a Muslim becomes chief minister.

The attempt is to introduce an overarching law to oversee the functioning of Hindu places of worship in the state where, until now, temples have been governed by individual committees with government representatives. The law will regulate all major temples in the state including Kedarnath and Badrinath, which are being overseen now by the Kedarnath-Badrinath temple committee.

Kaushik said that the new shrine board will work on the lines of the one for Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra district of Jammu and Kashmir and the Balaji shrine in Tirupati. He said the move is aimed at improving facilities at all major temples in the state, which would give a boost to religious tourism.

A total of 36 proposals were discussed and 35 approved at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Kaushik said. They included the Chardham Shrine Management Board Act, 2019.

“Once formed, CM of the state would head the board as its chairperson. Three MPs, six MLAs, several secretaries and priests of the char dhams will also be included as members in the board,” Kaushik said.

Kaushik said that the chief executive officer of the board would be an Indian Administrative Service officer who will look after the rights of the priests they have enjoyed previously. “In case there is a Muslim CM then a senior Hindu cabinet minister would be the chairperson of the board,” he said.

“In the initial phase, the board will manage Char Dham and 51 temples. A bill regarding this will be tabled in the State Assembly in the upcoming session. Once the Act is formed, the board will work on the lines of Vaishno Devi and Tirupati Balaji Shrine Management Boards,” he said.

The cabinet also decided to form rules and regulations for the modernisation of madarsas in the state.

“The rules and regulations would help in modernising the madarsas. It would help in their computerisation as the government works under PM Narendra Modi’s principle of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. Apart from this, the state cabinet also decided to form rules and regulations for the Arabic-Farsi Madrassa Board in the state,” said Kaushik.

In case of schools that don’t have their own buildings, the cabinet approved a proposal to construct structures using bamboo.

Among the other approvals, the state cabinet announced that it would be organising a Wellness Summit-2020 in April which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The event will feature the US, United Arab Emirates, China and Thailand as partner countries and would cost 25 crore to host.

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