‘Vaishvik Hindu Rashtra Mahotsav’ : Press Conference 
“The then Congress Government established the Waqf Board and strengthened it with special legal powers to protect the religious property and land belonging to the (so-called marginalised and vulnerable) Muslim community. On the same grounds, the Union Government should set up a ‘Hindu Mandir Board’ to protect lakhs of temples in India as the ultimate authority over temple wealth, temple administration and the temple land. In addition, the Union Government should immediately repeal the Hindu-phobic ‘Religious Endowment Act 1951’ which allows the Government to take over the Hindu temples and free all the temples from the clutches of (read unfair and unjust) Government control”, said Adv. Vishnu Shankar Jain, Spokesperson, Hindu Front For Justice and Advocate, Supreme Court, Delhi. Adv. Vishnu Shankar Jain fiercely fought the legal battles to reclaim temples at Kashi (Gyanvapi Case for the Vishwanath Temple) and Mathura (temple at Shrikushn’s birthplace).
He was addressing a Press Conference organised as part of the 5th day of the 12th edition of the Vaishvik Hindu Rashtra Mahotsav’ at Shri Vidyadhiraj Sabhagruh in Ponda, Goa. He shared the dais with Mr Girish Shah (An authoritative voice on the financial management of temples and  Managing Trustee, Samast Mahajan NGO, Mumbai, Maharashtra); Mr Sunil Ghanwat, Rajya Sanghatak, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Maharashtra & Chhattisgarh and State Coordinator of Maharashtra Mandir Sangh; Mr Jayesh Thali (Secretary, Gomantak Mandir Mahasangh, Goa); and Pujya Pavan Sinha Guruji (Pavan Chintan Dhara Ashram, Uttar Pradesh)
At the time, Mr Sunil Ghanwat (State Coordinator, Maharashtra Mandir Sangh) said , “The discussions in these annual Vaishvik Hindu Rashtra Mahotsava paved the way for ‘Mandir Sanskruti Raksha Abhiyan’ (a mass movement to uphold the sanctity and ancient Vedic tradition of Hindu temples). Till today, 14,000 temples across the Country have become part of this wider movement aimed at safeguarding the sources of Chaitanya (Divine Consciousness) (read Hindu Temples). The Vaishvik Hindu Rashtra Mahotsav brought together the trustees and priests representing more than 275 temples in Maharashtra. In addition, more than 700 temples have introduced the ‘Dress Code’ at temple premises to maintain the sanctity of temples. We plan to expand this initiative further and aim to free temple premises from businesses that offer ‘liquor and alcohol’ for sale.
The Waqf Board has (arrogantly and shamelessly) staked claims on 19 acres of land belonging to Shri Shani Shingnapur Temple, 12.5 acres of land belonging to Shri Kankaleshwar Temple in Beed, and around 1,200 acres of land along with the 1,500-year-old Sri Chandrasekhara Swamy temple in Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu). In this manner, the Waqf Board (the beacon of hope for the marginalised Muslim community) has forcibly acquired many properties belonging to (so-called dominant) devout Hindus and Hindu temples. We demand the Government to issue a GR to free all such properties forcible acquired by this (criminal) board and hand them over to their rightful owners (read Hindus and Hindu temples).
In Maharashtra, the old lease agreement for the land under the Waqf Board has been cancelled and a new model rent has been implemented. Therefore, today the Waqf Board is getting an income of lakhs of Rupees every month. Similarly, model rent should be implemented immediately across the country where the land of temples is being used for Government and private work. Also, daily worship at the Shiva temple in Gharapuri (Mumbai) and the Shri Bharatmata temple at Devagiri Fort in Sambhajinagar, which comes under the Department of Archaeology, has been stopped. Hindus should be allowed to perform the daily worship there as there are Hindu Deities there. We are warning the Government that if these demands are not accepted, we will take to the streets and protest.
State Secretary of ‘ Gomantak Mandir Mahasangh’ Mr Jayesh Thali said that though the Government has given an explanation, the Government order clearly permits the opening of new liquor shops within 100 meters of temples and school premises. Hence, Gomantak Mandir Mahasangh strongly opposes this decision. Government has claimed that this decision has been taken as an exception to boost the tourism in the State; however, this decision will definitely hurt the religious sentiments of the tourists. Tomorrow, if by paying new 200% tax, we ask permission for setting up a liquor shop besides Jama Masjid or the Old Goa church, will the Government permit us ? The Government should give an answer. Punjab is being called ‘flying Punjab’ because of the extensive addiction among people. Does Goa Government want to make Goa ‘Flying Goa’ ? Hence, we demand that the Government should repeal this Act immediately.
At the time, while talking about the ‘Effective Financial Management of the Temples’, scholar Mr Girish Shah (Managing Trustee, Samast Mahajan NGO, Mumbai, Maharashtra) said that only 10% of the total financial income of the temples should be kept for worship and management, while the rest should be used for temple conservation, maintenance, improving facilities, financial assistance to small temples and community. So also, various temples will be guided regarding financial management, general management and conservation of the temple.
At the time, Pujya Pavan Sinha Guruji of Pavan Chintan Dhara Ashram in Uttar Pradesh said that it is not appropriate for the government of a secular country to take over only Hindu temples. Therefore, our demand is that the government should free all temples from its control. For this purpose, we have organized the Mandir Sanskriti Parishad (Temple Culture Council.)
Mr Ramesh Shinde, National Spokesperson, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti
From the left Mr. Girish Shah, Mr. Sunil Ghanwat, Pujya Pawan Sinha Guruji, Advocate Vishnu Jain and Shri. Jayesh Thali

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