In a significant decision, the Karnataka government has notified an order prohibiting the use of funds of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (Muzrai) department to finance non-Hindu causes or any other religious institutions.
According to reports, the Karnataka Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments department has released a notification dated 23 July, ordering the prohibition of diversion of funds from Muzrai department controlled Hindu temples to any other non-Hindu causes.
The decision was taken after members of the state and district Dharmic Parishads opposed the diversion of funds from Hindu temples to other religious institutions. Considering these demands, the department has barred deviation of funds from either the ‘tastik‘ amount or the annual grants.
Last month, Minister Kota Shrinivas Poojary had assured that the funds of the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions And Charitable Endowments (HRCE) Department would no longer be used to fund any non-Hindu religious institutions. The statement by the minister had come after various Hindu groups and leaders had objected to the distribution of ‘tastik‘ money from the HRCE to priests and staff of other religious institutions.
Following the protests by the Hindu groups, Minister for Muzrai Kota Srinivas Poojary had directed that all such acts of financial support from the department be halted with immediate effect. However, Poojary had then assured that “until our government came to power, ‘tastik‘ amount meant for temples was also being provided to other religious institutions. Upon receiving this information we have directed that all utilisation of funds for non-Hindu purposes be stopped immediately.”
This order notified on 26 July bars the diversion of both the ‘tastik’ and the annual grant to 757 religious centres and 111 prayer centres. The order instructs that such grants be given to the concerned institutions through the Department of Minority Welfare, Haj and Waqf.