It is a long standing demand of the Hindus to get the temples out of the control of the government run authorities. Yet, there has been less success in that path. Now the Supreme Court on 8th April asked as to why should government officials manage religious places and temples in the country while taking note of the fact that several devotees visiting the Jagannath temple in Puri were being harassed, reported Economic Times.
This statement was made by a bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer while hearing a plea that brought to light the hardships and faced by the devotees at Jagannath temple and the troubles they underwent.
Speaking on this, Justice S A Bobde said “We had occasion to examine the issue in case of Chidambaram temple. I do not know why government officers should run the temple. In Tamil Nadu, there are many cases of theft of idols. What are government officers doing. These idols, apart from the religious sentiments, are priceless”.
The bench also observed that “People (visiting the temple) are harassed due to several reasons. Priests restrict them. Lot of them do not have voice. They are poor and uneducated”.
Attorney General K K Venugopal told the apex court that board appointed by governments were managing several other temples in the country and protested “How far the government, in a secular state, can control or manage a temple”.
When the hearing was going on, one of the lawyers who had filed an intervention application in the matter, said the petition was not maintainable. To this, Justice Bobde said, “It is enough. You are behaving in the most undignified manner in the court. We do not want to be shouted out. We do not want somebody to speak out of turn. You will not use the tone in which you are addressing the court.”
It should be noted that only the temples that are worshiped by Hindus across nation are brought under the government run boards.