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Unfair practice of VIP darshan for money condemned

2024.01.05 (Vrindavan Today News): A video has surfaced in the social media where a woman devotee is seen crying over the alleged demand for money in the name of VIP darshan at the Banke Bihari Temple. This video has gone viral on social media, in which the woman tearfully expresses concern over the imposition of fees for VIP darshan. She condemned the unfair practice where each person is charged Rs. 100 and an additional Rs. 500 for facilitating the VIP visit.Despite the police presence in the temple premises for devotees’ convenience and security, there seems to be no regulation regarding the payment for VIP darshan.

Banke Bihari temple gate

The devotee alleges that this practice exploits worshippers under the guise of facilitating VIP visits. The temple manager, Munish Kumar Sharma, acknowledges the issuance of receipts for VIP darshan for Rs. 100 per person, which has been a longstanding practice at the temple. He explains that this practice exists not just at Banke Bihari Temple but in several other temples across India, claiming it as a legally valid arrangement. He asserts that the handling of payments for VIP darshan is overseen by the temple’s treasurer, a practice upheld by the Temple Management Committee for years, emphasizing its legality.

Sharma clarifies that demanding extra money outside the temple premises for VIP darshan is unauthorized, specifically referencing the video where a young man is seen asking the woman devotee for Rs. 500, deeming it entirely incorrect. This incident, as highlighted, raises concerns about the implementation and transparency of the VIP darshan system, prompting scrutiny and calls for reevaluation of these practices.

Talking to ‘Vrindavan Today’ Shri Ramratan Agrawal, who has been visiting Vrindavan for two decades, said there is no VIP before the Lord. There shouldn’t be any special facility for anyone for darshan. All are same for Banke Bihari and any other temple of the Lord. If the convenience is to be given, it should be for the elderly citizens and physically disable devotees.

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