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Andhra Pradesh pledges to build 3000 new temples, says state showing interest in ‘protecting and spreading Hindu faith’

According to Deputy Chief Minister Kottu Satyanarayana, the endeavour to 'protect and spread the Hindu faith' has been launched across the state on the orders of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

The state government of Andhra Pradesh has put forth efforts to guarantee that each of the state’s 26 districts is home to at least one significant Hindu temple. According to the administration, the state has greatly increased its interest in building shrines in every village of the state. 

According to Deputy Chief Minister Kottu Satyanarayana, the endeavour to ‘protect and spread the Hindu faith’ has been launched across the state on the orders of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and that the state would build 3000 temples in coming years. Deputy Chief Minister Kottu Satyanarayana who is also the Endowments Minister confirmed the initiative by releasing an official statement which read, “To protect and propagate the Hindu faith on a massive scale, construction of Hindu temples in the localities of weaker sections has been initiated.”

The Sri Vani Trust of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, which was established to build Sri Venkateswara Swamy temples at various sites around India, has allotted Rs 10 lakh for the construction of each temple.

The state administration had already stated that it would start building 1,330 temples. This list now includes 1,465 more temples. At the same time, 200 other temples will be constructed throughout the state at the request of certain politicians. “The construction of the recently added temples and the ones requested by the individual legislators will be done with the cooperation of voluntary organisations”, the deputy chief minister of the state said.

The minister claims that the Endowments Department is in charge of building 978 temples, and that work is proceeding at a rapid pace. Further, the state government has allotted Rs 270 crore to renovate temples and to carry out ceremonies there. Rs 238 crore of this has already been released.

Many Hindu temples vandalized in the state in the past few years

To note, there have been severe attacks on temples in the state of Andhra Pradesh leaving Hindus all over the country horrified and shaken. The unprovoked, systematic attacks on Hindu temples across the state, whose numbers have increased both in magnitude and seriousness over the recent years are troubling.

In October 2022, a Nandi idol in a prominent Shiva temple in Kanaparthi Village of the Prakasam district was vandalised. Authorities in the area said that the unidentified culprits had broke into the temple’s premises and vandalised the Nandi idol in an effort to steal it. Reportedly, no arrests had been made in the case.

In December 2020, a 400-year old mūrti of Sri Rāma at Ramathirtha, Vizianagaram District was vandalized and the head of Lord Rama was found lying in the temple tank. Prior to this incident, a 12th-century Nandi was also found broken to pieces at a Śiva temple in Chittur district; two old Hindu temples in Suryaraopeta, East Godavari district illegally demolished by neighbouring Church’s Pastor, who also stole the antique idols housed within, and 23 idols of small shrines in Pithapuram, East Godavari district were brutally vandalized. There are countless other similar incursions across the state.

As reported earlier, about 228 cases of attacks on temples were registered in Andhra Pradesh in the year 2020, 305 cases in 2019, 267 in 2018, 318 in 2017, 332 in 2016 and 290 in 2015. Also in September 2020, YS Jagan government had dissolved 2500 temple trusts across the state, which goes against the provisions of the Endowments Act.

While the state government of Andhra Pradesh has pledged to ‘protect the Hindu faith’, it is unclear whether the temples will be looked after by the state authorities who have history of digging deeper into the temple coffers, or the Hindu trustees and devotees.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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