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A mahant’s lament

Print edition : Dec 07, 2018 T+T-

Rajendra Tiwari, the former mahant of Kashi Vishwanath temple, is embroiled in a court case with the Uttar Pradesh government over the ownership rights of the temple. His family had managed the affairs of the temple for centuries before the Congress government in the State headed by Sripati Mishra, divested him of the responsibility on January 28, 1983, under the Uttar Pradesh Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983, “to provide for better administration” of the temple and its endowments.

The temple has since been administered by the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust through a government-appointed chief executive officer and a board of trustees.

Tiwari has been fighting the court case but has no political motive to oppose the temple area modernisation plan.

A vociferous critic of the way the project is being executed, Tiwari told Frontline : “We are opposing it because there is no transparency in the process. The manner in which the temples are being razed to the ground defies all norms of decency. I wonder what sort of Hindus they are. Everything is shrouded in mystery. We have no idea what their game plan is. Nothing has been made public. People are threatened with dire consequences and are thrown out of their houses. It pains me to see the way temples are being demolished and idols desecrated.”

He said the demolition work had created tension in the area and the atmosphere of mutual coexistence that had prevailed earlier had been destroyed.