Ponda – The Portuguese invaders demolished many old temples in Goa to destroy ancient Indian culture. The Goa State Government recognised the need to preserve the ancient Indian culture and decided to renovate all such temples that were the subject of attacks by foreign invaders. The State Government wasted no time renovating the ancient Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple in North Goa. Later, it formed a committee to identify and renovate all such temples across the State. The State’s stance concerning the Hindu temples is praiseworthy. We know how Mughal invaders went on a rampage to demolish the ancient and significant Hindu temples. While speaking with journalists during a press conference, Mr Sunil Ghanwat, the coordinator of th‘Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh’, informed journalists that the temple trustees and other devout Hindus had requested the Union Government to renovate the old temples across the country similar to how it is being done in Goa. The press conference was held by the Hindu Janajaruti Samiti to provide updates on the ‘Vaishvik Hindu Rashtra Mahotsav’.

          Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, Spokesperson of the Hindu Front For Justice and Advocate (Supreme Court, Delhi), who had fought the legal battle to clear the Gyanvapi encroachment in Kashi, Mr Jayesh Thali, the Secretary, Gomantak Mandir Mahasangh (Goa), Advocate Suresh Kaudare, Trustee of the Bhimashankar Temple (Pune, Maharashtra) and Mr Anup Jayswal, Secretary of the Devasthan Sewa Samiti, Vidarbha (Maharashtra) also attended the press conference.

I will continue to fight for the Mathura and Kishkindha temples after the battle for the Kashi
(Vishwanath Temple) !
 – Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain,

        These annual Hindu Rashtra Conventions have inspired us to fight the Gyanvapi battle to clear the Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Islamic encroachment. Now, we will fight for Mathura and Kishkindha temples as well. Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, the spokesperson of the Hindu Front For Justice, had proactively and successfully fought the legal battle concerning the Gyanvapi Mosque in Kashi. Addressing the press conference, He said, “The honourable High Court has ruled that the petition for Shrikrushna temple in Mathura stands valid as the Waqf Act and the Places of Worship Act do not apply like the Gyanvapi case. The HC has also ordered the Archaeology Department to survey both the sites. The HC has also declared the Karnataka Act concerning Kishkindha (the birthplace of Deity Hanuman) unconstitutional.” He added that all the State Laws concerning temples are unconstitutional as they violate Articles 19, 21, 25, 26 and 27 of the Indian Constitution, and hence, the Union Government must repeal them. The State Governments should free the temples from their clutches at the earliest.

         At the time, Mr Sunil Ghanwat, Rajya Sangathak of Maharashtra & Chhattisgarh for Hindu Janajaruti Samiti (HJS), said that the HJS has relentlessly worked to set the temples free of Government control and their preservation and protection to conserve our great heritage. These annual Hindu Rashtra conventions have given birth to many movements to protect Hindu temples. The Bhojshala Mukti Movement in MP, the removal of Illegal Islamic encroachment at Tirupati Balaji and the fight against corruption in Government-controlled temples in Pandharpur, Shirdi, Kolhapur, Tuljapur (Maharashtra) are some examples of the same. The Gomantak Mandir Mahasangh and Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh have been working to preserve and promote the temple culture in Goa and Maharashtra. Together, we have implemented a dress code for 131 temples in Maharashtra. Soon, we will host meetings for temple trustees in other states like Karnataka and Delhi to create awareness about the same.

         On this occasion, Mr Jayesh Thali, the Secretary of Gomantak Mandir Mahasangh (Goa), said that the Goa State Government should keep a strict timeline to renovate the temples destroyed by the Portuguese invaders. The Gomantak Mandir Mahasangh will wholeheartedly work with the Government Committee to identify and renovate all such temples across the State.

        At the time, Mr Anup Jayswal, Secretary of the Devasthan Sewa Samiti, Vidarbha (Maharashtra), informed the participants about the work undertaken by the Devasthan Sewa Samiti to make the necessary amendments to the Mumbai Public Trustees Act to address all the issues concerning our temples.

        Speaking to the journalists, Advocate Suresh Kaudare, Trustee of the Bhimashankar Temple (Pune, Maharashtra), elaborated on the issues concerning Hindu priests. He informed that the State Government pays generous salaries to the maulvis, and many madarasas get generous State grants. However, the State Exchequer does not provide compensation to the Hindu priests. He highlighted this stark contrast concerning Muslim and Hindu priests. He said, “Today, Hindu temple priests grapple with many issues. The Mumbai Public Trustees Act must be amended to preserve the rights of traditional priests, who had been performing puja at various historic temples for ages and to resolve the disputes between trustees and the priests.”

Mr Ramesh ShindeNational Spokesperson, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti


Photo Caption – From left Mr. Anup Jaiswal, Mr. Suresh Kaudre, Mr. Jayesh Thali, Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain and Shri. Sunil Ghanwat

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