In a massive gathering of Tirtha Purohits and Brahmins on Sunday at Govardhan Bus Stand, the government was accused of damaging Hindu traditions. Akhil Bhartiya Teerth Purohit Mahasabha president, Mahesh Pathak, said if the government does not revoke its decision to acquire Braj’s temples, demonstrations will be held on a national level.
Pathak said that the Government did not establish the temples, so it has no right to interfere in the management of the temples. He gave the examples Baignath Dham and Rajgiri to show that if people unite against the acquisition, the government will relent. He said that they will go as far as shutting down temples if the government does not relent.
The Mahant of the Nirmohi Akhara section of the Birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, Sitaram Das Maharaj, said that the BJP is wearing a mask of Hindutva. He said that despite proclaiming to be pro-Hindu, the BJP has not helped to restore the temple at Lord Ram’s birthplace, and now they are after Braj’s temples.
Shrine boards have been established to manage temples in India that are of national significance. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu-Kashmir has been controlled by a shrine board since 1988. According to the shrine board’s website, the takeover was necessary due to the poor condition of the premises and lack of facilities for visitors.
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Many of Braj’s temples already have court appointed receivers who have been appointed manage temple income after families took financial disputes to the courts. However, the attempt to forcibly impose government officials on temples without the consent of the traditional owners is being strongly opposed by thousands of Brahmins who rely on temples for their livelihood.