- Several temples in Kaman face financial constraints despite owning properties worth crores
2023.03.16 (Vrindavan Today News): Several temples in Kamyavan (Kama) are struggling to survive as there are no funds available for the daily rituals and temple activities. As many as 151 temples of the city are cash strapped for the basic daily expenses even to buy items for minimum Bhog – Prasad.
Despite the fact the Lordships of the temples are the owners of properties worth several crores, these temples are finding it difficult to light diyas (lamps) in the temples. The financial constraint is so serious that they can’t spend money in the renovation and repairs that is urgently required for the existence of these temples.
It should be noted that several original Lordships of Vrindavan were taken to Jaipur and other places in Rajasthan during the Mughal invasion in Braj. The deities of Shri Govinda Dev, Shri Gopinath and Madan Mohan temples are worth mentioning that migrated to Jaipur and Karoli. During the course of migration these devotees stayed in different places like Radhakund, Kama etc. After the original deities moved to their current locations, their replicas were established in the temples of Kama.
These temples were built by the nobles, landlords and the princely states who also donated vast agricultural land for each temple. The intention behind donating the agricultural land was to earn money for the maintenance of the temples by selling corps. However, the lands were given to people for agriculture on the basis of share cropping.
Over time, because of the negligence of the authorities, the cultivators became the owners of the land. They stopped sharing the corps with the temple priests or the paying money against it. It has lead to the current financial struggles being faced by the temples.
In Kaman, the Gopinath temple alone has 300 bighas of land in Thakurji’s name, while Govind Dev ji temple has 150 bighas of land. However, according to revenue records, most of the lands belonging to these temples are in the name of tenants on a 99-year lease.
Despite the vast land holdings, the conditions of these temples are in a state of neglect, with even the basic amenities being a struggle to arrange. The temples rely on aid from the Gopinathji and Govinddevji temples located in Jaipur.
In the Indian court system, the deity is legally considered as a perpetual minor. The concept of perpetual minor was originated taking into consideration the fact that the deity is not in a position to come out of the temple and approach the authorities including the courts to establish its legal rights. Base on this, the legal proposition of ‘parens patriae” jurisdiction was formulated as far the deities are concerned by the Courts in India which means that the Courts and Government have a duty as parent to protect the interest of the ‘minor’ deities.
The ruling may have far-reaching implications for the administration and management of temple properties across the country. It remains to be seen how the authorities will respond to this verdict and address the issues faced by these temples.