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Autonomy granted to Chilkur Balaji temple

Special Correspondent

G.O. favours unique practice of worship to be continued


G.O. rules that no offering should be collected from devotees

Soundarrajan, chief hereditary of Chilkur temple, welcomes G.O.


A FILE PHOTO

PRAYER TIME: Devotees doing ‘pradakshina’ at the Chilkur Balaji temple.

HYDERABAD: The Government has issued orders granting full autonomy to the Chilkur Balaji temple.

The G.O. No.260 dated February 29, based on the recommendations of the P.V.R.K.Prasad Committee, has stated that “the unique practice of worship which has evolved in the temple be honoured, preserved and continued, i.e running the temple without ‘Hundi’, special ‘Arjit Sevas’, no special privileges for VIPs and no cash offerings.”

Exemption

The Government has exempted the temple from Sec.15 (Constitution of temple trust board) and Sec.29 (Appointment of executive officer) of the Endowments Act.

Instead, it had constituted a seven-member managing committee for the temple with Soundarrajan as the chairman, C.S.Gopala Krishna as convener, Chilkur sarpanch, Assistant Commissioner, Endowments, Ranga Reddy district, two chartered accountants and philanthropists.

No offerings

The G.O. also ruled that no gold or silver offerings would be collected from the devotees.

The revenue from the car parking, after deducting amount for maintenance expenditure, would be credited into a fixed deposit and only interest accrued from it would be used for daily ‘Puja’.

Dr.Soundarrajan, chief hereditary of the Sri Balaji temple, Chilkur, hailed the G.O. as a breakthrough for the entire temple system.

Opposition

It may be recalled that as the Temple Protection Movement convener Dr.Soundarrajan and other devotees had opposed the Chilkur temple takeover bid by the Endowments Department.

They feared that it would pave way for “commercialisation” of the Chilkur temple that is being run in a reformatory way without ‘Hundi’ or tickets or any privileges like special ‘darshan’.

The relentless campaign launched by Dr.Soundarrajan and other like-minded individuals for continuing the unique traditions of the temple elicited support from different sections of society in India and abroad.

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