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Leave Temples Alone

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

It is fortute that the Opposition was able to stall the passage of the Assam Sri Sri Ma Kamakhya Devalaya Magement Bill, 2015 in the Assam Assembly on Monday. Opposition members pointed out several anomalies in the Bill concerning provisions of temple magement by Dolois. AGP legislator Phanibhushan Choudhury pointed out that the Bill envisaged one Doloi for the Kamakhya temple against the existing and time-honoured practice of having two Dolois. He was also unhappy about the government having failed to discuss the issue with the temple magement, i.e., the Bardeuri Samaj before introducing the Bill in the Assembly. Keshab Mahanta of the AGP was of the view that a time-tested tradition of the historic shrine should not be interfered with by the government and that the Bill should be kept in abeyance until the issue was sorted out with the temple authorities. We are of the view that a secular government should have nothing to do at all with the magement of places of worship. The very fact that the draft Bill envisages having one Doloi against the existing and time-tested practice of having two Dolois is a clear indication of the government’s desire to have stronger control of the temple magement. One Doloi would be easier to mage than two. But why should the government attempt to have its fingers in all the pies from temple magement to magement of the Cricket Association, Hockey Association and every other Association related with different sports that lawmakers may know very little about? A secular government should, in all fairness, stay away from anything to do with places of religious worship. Instead, we have a government that seeks not only to interfere in the magement of places of worship but also to do this selectively. We would like to know how many Bills the government of Assam has envisaged for the magement of mosques and churches. Are they all in the draft stage, or has the government decided to interfere only in the magement of temples? The people of a secular State have a right to know.

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